SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER PROGRAM
1. Briefly describe the structure of your program.
The structure of the SRO program is simple, police officers are assigned to provide patrol and school resource assistance to the area in and around the cityís high schools. The officers are assigned to work with school administrators, teachers, students, parents, area business owners and others who are stakeholders in the "school community". Within each individual school venue, the officers work with the stakeholders to identify, prioritize and develop problem-solving strategies. In addition, the SRO personnel patrol the school area and respond to calls-for-service which may occur in and around the area.
2. When was the program created and why?
The SRO program was developed in 1995 in response to observations that the cityís high schools, and their surrounding areas, were experiencing increased levels of violent and near-violent disturbances. The level of student concern and fear regarding the potential for violence at school also seemed to be increasing. Parents, teachers and school administrators were concerned. When the police department approached a local school district to explore interest in developing a program to address these concerns, the school district agreed to a partnership and, indeed, offered to contribute funding for an initial demonstration program. Through a series of meetings between police and school administrators, the costs of the program were identified and an initial funding contribution plan was devised. The first two (2) School Resource Officers were funded with a combination of police department resources, school district funding and federal government grants which partially funded the salaries and benefits for the police officers.
3. How do you measure the programís effectiveness?
Key program activities were identified and monitored closely during the initial stages of the program, however, as the first school year drew to a close anecdotal reports from school authorities clearly indicated that the program was seen as effective and popular with virtually all stakeholders. The ultimate measure of program effectiveness was the desire of the school district to continue to allocate its resources to the program by continuing funding. Indeed, for the 1998/1999 school year the program will add an additional officer who will be assigned to the school districtís Alternative High School.
4. How is the program financed?
As noted above the program was initially funded by the police department, school district and federal grants. Currently, the program is funded cooperatively by the police department and school district only.
5. How is the community involved in the program, if at all? How has the community responded to the program?
SRO personnel have daily contacts and work closely with school administrators, teachers, students, parents and school area businesses. As noted above, all identified stakeholders appear to be enthusiastically supportive of the program.
6. Contact person:
Sgt. B. Braley (425-257-8461) or Sgt. B. Bryant (425-257-8451)
The United States Conference of Mayors
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
Copyright © 1999, US Conference of Mayors, All rights reserved.