School Resource Officer
What is a School Resource Officer?
The School Resource Officer (SRO) program
is the next step in Community Oriented Policing (COP). The SRO
is an asset used by the community and the school in an attempt
to address situations in the lives of students in a forum other
than the judicial system.
The School Resource Officer program (SRO) is a nationally
accepted program involving the placement of a law enforcement
officer within the educational environment. The officer, while
in the school, is involved in a variety of functions aimed at
prevention. In addition to being an active high profile law enforcement
officer, the SRO is a resource for students, parents, teachers
and administration regarding law issues. Another duty for the
SRO is being a link to other service agencies, which provide preventive
and counseling services within the school district. Working hand
and hand with the Principal in each school, the SRO assists with
finding solutions to problems affecting school age children.
The SRO program is a proactive approach to deal
with the pressures today’s young people find themselves
having to confront. This includes the use of alcohol, drugs and
tobacco, along with peer pressure, gang activity, and sex. These
situations are not only in the schools, but in the community as
well. The approach of addressing these issues only in the school,
or in the community, has not been completely effective. Traditionally,
police and school did not interact until one called upon the other.
Are the Schools so bad
we need SROs?
This is a question that is common with parents, teachers, and
community leaders. The question is easily answered when you ask
yourself the following: Wouldn’t you rather send your child
to a school where there is an active law enforcement officer on
duty, working with the school system, who acts quickly to solve
The Lyndhurst School system, and the Lyndhurst Police
Department, are working together to confront problems our students
must face now. By addressing these issues together and proactively
we become increasingly effective.
Although most statistics are nationwide, we can
see the trend. An SRO, if utilized correctly, should be the first
line of defense against gangs, drugs, alcohol, and school violence.
The Supreme Court recognized the effects that gangs and drugs
have in our schools and have ruled that “gangs and drugs”
are inherently dangerous. They have also stated that every student
in the United States has the right to feel safe while attending
Through prevention programs, it is hoped that in
Lyndhurst, New Jersey, we can reverse the trends that are hurting
our youth and education. The school system understands and believes
that we hold the future of youth in our hands.