School Resource Officers: Bridging the Gaps in Communities

Nelson, Paul G.
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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)
School Resource Officers (SROs) should be placed on each campus starting with the elementary schools in all communities. The SRO can start crafting the future for that young child on how they view a police officer. Relationships between students and officers are built on trust and respect, so that students know the SRO is there to help them. With the violent world that we live in, the goal is to protect our schools, which means that cities across the nation have started putting officers inside schools. The SROs are working on creating positive relationships, and showing that if stakeholders work as a team, it’s a win-win for students, school staff, and community members. Over the past few years, schools, communities, and other stakeholders have studied the effectiveness of creating safer schools by arming campuses with SROs and creating a first line of defense. There will always be evil in this world despite how prepared communities are. Implementing a SRO program has the potential to lead negative effects of more students being introduced to the criminal justice system if implemented incorrectly. Parents can begin to view the school as unsafe, and worry about the need to have a uniformed, weapon carrying officer on campus. However, if the SRO can be a part of a team to change the culture and beliefs of a school district and community, then the investment is worth the chance. School districts and cities should work together to provide a comprehensive SRO program to bridge the gap between the youth, families and citizens in the community.
Campus Police, Campus Security, Police Services for Juveniles