The School Resource Officer (SRO) is a key component to the departments overall community policing plans and crime prevention efforts within the City of Cottonwood. The SRO Program focuses on fostering positive relationships with youth and equally as important, reducing crime in our schools. 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 five key roles of the SRO are:
- Build positive relationships with youth
- Community liaison
- Law enforcement officer
- Law-related educator
- Role model
The School Resource Officer is an accepted program involving the placement of a law enforcement officer within the educational environment. The officer, while in school, is involved in a variety of functions aimed at prevention.
Besides 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 to be a link to other service agencies which provide preventive and counseling services within the school district. Working hand in hand with the Principal in each school, the SRO assists with finding solutions to problems affecting school age children. The SRO provides guidance on School Safety plans and issues.
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 only in the community, has not been completely effective. Traditionally, police and school did not interact until one called upon the other.
Cottonwood Police Department currently has a School Resource Officer assigned to work with following schools: