The SRO discussion in Wednesday’s Frederick News-Post caught my attention.
School Resource Officers are the perfect opportunity to practice and refine Community Policing. They are typically men or women, who choose and are selected for being appropriate to the position.
My teaching experience is more than 36 years in Jr., Middle, and Sr. High Schools, and a detention center. It is idealistic to say SRO’s are not needed in public schools.
Reality is that behaviors, good and bad, in any community are reflected in their public schools. A school is a “community”, and there are events, as in any community, that require a sworn officer to intervene. The relationship is the key to earning the trust and respect that makes an SRO effective, in these times.
Who better should deal with serious issues such as drug sales, assaults, sex crimes, firearms, etc., than an investigator from the community who knows the people, and usually the background and circumstances of an issue. I have seen warnings, counseling, even mediation used to resolve disputes, and prevent more serious crimes. Isn’t this the essence of community policing?
No one benefits when schools are out of the control of the staff.
It would be interesting to see the results of a survey among staff and students about the future of SRO’s in Frederick County Public Schools.