I noted in the daily poll concerning SROs, which asked about the most important function of a school resource officer, my choice would be developing trust and relationships between law enforcement and young people.
In looking at the photos of the officer (The SRO debate, Feb. 27-28) I would question if that was possible. He looks like he is about to quell some sort of riot due to the equipment he is wearing. First of all, the "duty vest" he is wearing shouts, "I am ready for it."
A name tag that starts out with POLICE in large type and his last name. A simple name tag with his name would do if we got rid of the vest. The extra magazine for the handgun could be on his belt on the left side (so they are handy if required) move the hand cuffs to his left rear. If he were wearing a light blue shirt with the badge and name tag, he would look a bit more friendly.
A simple black case, fabric with a shoulder strap could be more handy for items required. Of course, the radio stays where it is. Standing with arms akimbo does not do too much as a warm stance. Oh, and a large placard advertising the fact that he was a police officer is not required.
I spent some time as a deputy in the southwest many years ago, so I have a little experience in public relations with law enforcement.