School Resource Officer
A School Resource Officer (SRO) is a law enforcement officer who is assigned to an Elementary, Middle, or High School. The main goal of the SRO is to prevent juvenile delinquency by promoting positive relations between youth and law enforcement. The SRO position has three major components which allow the SRO to achieve this goal: Law Enforcement, Education, and Counseling. These three components allow the SRO to take a proactive approach to Law Enforcement however, SRO's are not just “cops” on campus. SRO's not only provide all law enforcement services on their campus, they also educate students about law enforcement, and are ever present to counsel students and parents on various topics. The SRO endeavors to become involved in the students' lives as a positive role model. The intent is to promote positive experiences between students and the SRO to bridge the gap between juveniles and law enforcement and, in doing so, help to prevent juvenile crime.
Having a law enforcement officer on campus provides an additional measure of security for the school and, since the SRO often handles issues (both criminal and other problems) that occur at the school, it often eliminates the need to call a patrol deputy to handle them, freeing up regular patrol to address issues elsewhere or respond to emergency calls at other locations.
SRO's are specially selected and receive additional training and certification for this very important function. Not everyone is suited to handle this specialized aspect of law enforcement. Currently, the Bradford County Sheriff's Office has a single deputy assigned as an SRO. Lack of funding limits the availability of having additional deputies for this important function. Typically, an SRO is assigned to a single school and specific age group but, funding resources often dictate otherwise. Currently, the Bradford County Sheriff's SRO is responsible for providing service at six (6) schools: Brooker, Hampton, and Lawtey Elementary; Bradford High School; the Vo Tech School; and one Alternative School.
Fortunately, some available grant funding provided for a Security Specialist Officer to review all county school facilities and to reinforce security measures through procedure, design, and education of the school faculty in improving security at our schools. When grant funds for salary were no longer available, the Sheriff's Office entered into an agreement with school officials for salary sharing and consequently, has been able to retain this skilled and experienced deputy at our schools to maintain this security position. This has enabled ongoing improvements to school security throughout the county and has permitted an additional law enforcement officer to be available as a measure to further safeguard our students.