School Resource Officer Program
The School Resource Officer Program (SRO) is a successful partnership between the Baltimore County Police Department and Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS). The program has expanded from two officers in 1997, to at least one officer in every high school and middle school. Currently, there are 64 SROs assigned to BCPS middle and high schools.
SROs are required to do the following:
- Dress in full uniform
- Drive marked police vehicles
- Be in constant radio contact with precinct personnel
The SRO Program is a nationally accepted program involving the placement of a law enforcement officer within the educational environment. SROs receive specialized training given by the National Association of School Resource Officers. The basic TRIAD concept, which signifies the philosophy of the school resource officer program, dictates that officers are teachers, counselors and law enforcers.
SROs as Teachers
As teachers, officers are ad-hoc members of the staff and are responsible for the following:
- Provide current trend and law-related education to students
- High school SROs act as guest speakers when needed to assist in teaching current trend and law-related classes
- Middle school SROs teach the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program and Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT)
- Provide law enforcement and community service information to students, parents and staff
- Work closely with their school-based counselors to ensure each student receives proper guidance
SROs as Law Mentors
As mentors, SROs work to establish a rapport with students by effectuating the following:
- Showing and interest with their academic and extracurricular activities
- Chatting about mutual interests
- Providing an attentive ear for whatever is on the student’s mind
- Being a positive role model in the school community
SROs as Law Enforcers
As law enforcers, it is an officer's duty to:
- Investigate crimes
- Make arrests
- Patrol communities near their schools
SROs do not handle school-based disciplinary issues; that is the exclusive responsibility of the school-based administrator.
2015 to 2016 School Year
The amount of work performed by the current SROs has been nothing short of remarkable. During the 2015 to 2016 school year, SROs:
- As educators taught in excess of 3,452 law-related lessons
- As mentors engaged in more than 72,774 formal and informal counseling or mentoring contacts with students
- As law enforcers performed over 1,561 law enforcement actions within the school and surrounding community
This contributes to the SRO being a positive role model for students, building relationships, and bridging the gap between youth and law enforcement.
Model SRO Agency
This program has received national acclaim by the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO). The Baltimore County Police Department has been recognized as a Model SRO Agency.
For additional information, email Sergeant Watkins at email@example.com or call 443-809-6487.