School Resource Officer - Local School Safety

Too often today, we hear about shootings at schools across the nation.

While much of the debate focuses on gun laws and mental health, many Sheriffs are working to keep our schools safe by providing highly trained School Resource Officers (SROs).

That's what I'm doing for us here in Lee county.

The goal is to protect every child, every teacher and every person in the school, and to assure a safe learning environment. SRO's are not only law enforcement officers, they are also mentors and counselors.

SRO's get special training so they can prevent violence and respond if it happens. Last summer, the North Carolina Association of School Resource Officers held a conference in Concord, NC that featured training on topics such as Understanding Brain Development and Gang Membership; Bullying; Active Threat Breaching; Bomb Threat Management in Schools; Use-of-Force Decision-Making; Drug Trends in Schools; and Recognizing, Understanding and Assessing the Causes of Child Stress Disorders.

North Carolina School Resource Officers receive valuable training from the North Carolina Justice Academy. A series of workshops for SRO's – as well as all law enforcement officers and educators – is held at the Justice Academy in Salemburg and community colleges across the state. A focus of previous workshops has been Teen Dating Violence, including the signs and effects of violence and how to make referrals to community service organizations for victims.

SRO's put their training to use every day to help keep the schools they serve safe. Some methods used by SRO's to keep our kids safe while at school are to enforce violations of the law occurring on school property, inform students of the dangers of substance abuse, introduce programs that promote acceptable social behavior, and serve School Resource Officers are completely integrated into the school and into the local school system as part of each student’s education team.

School-based policing is one of the fastest growing areas of law enforcement nationally.  While I regret the need, I recognize that society’s problems often come to the schools and each and everyone of my staff works hard to keep Lee county schools safe.

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