School Resource Officer (SRO)
What is a School Resource Officer?
The School Resource Officer (SRO) program is the next step in Community Oriented Policing (COP). The SRO is an asset used by the community and the school in an attempt to address situations in the lives of students in a forum other than the judicial system.
The School Resource Officer program (SRO) is a nationally accepted program involving the placement of a law enforcement officer within the educational environment. The officer, while in the school, is involved in a variety of functions aimed at prevention. In addition to being an active high profile law enforcement officer, the SRO is a resource for students, parents, teachers and administration regarding law issues. Another duty for the SRO is being a link to other service agencies, which provide preventive and counseling services within the school district. Working hand and hand with the Principal in each school, the SRO assists with finding solutions to problems affecting school age children.
The SRO program is a proactive approach to deal with the pressures today’s young people find themselves having to confront. This includes the use of alcohol, drugs and tobacco, along with peer pressure, gang activity, and sex. These situations are not only in the schools, but in the community as well. The approach of addressing these issues only in the school, or in the community, has not been completely effective. Traditionally, police and school did not interact until one called upon the other.
Are the Schools so bad we need SROs?
This is a question that is common with parents, teachers, and community leaders. The question is easily answered when you ask yourself the following: Wouldn’t you rather send your child to a school where there is an active law enforcement officer on duty, working with the school system, who acts quickly to solve problems?
The Lyndhurst School system, and the Lyndhurst Police Department, are working together to confront problems our students must face now. By addressing these issues together and proactively we become increasingly effective.
Although most statistics are nationwide, we can see the trend. An SRO, if utilized correctly, should be the first line of defense against gangs, drugs, alcohol, and school violence. The Supreme Court recognized the effects that gangs and drugs have in our schools and have ruled that “gangs and drugs” are inherently dangerous. They have also stated that every student in the United States has the right to feel safe while attending school.
Through prevention programs, it is hoped that in Lyndhurst, New Jersey, we can reverse the trends that are hurting our youth and education. The school system understands and believes that we hold the future of youth in our hands.
Lyndhurst Police Department School Resource Officers:
201-896-2100 ext. 4028