School Resource Officer Comes to the District
In November of 2014, our school district was awarded a grant to fund a School Resource Officer (SRO).
Many months later after creating a job description, partnering with the Erie County Sheriff’s Department, and obtaining the approval of our board, the school district has recently employed a School Resource Officer.
His name is Deputy Knight, and he can be reached at 824-3400 ext. 4149 or by email at David.Knight@wattsburg.org
If you are not familiar with School Resource Officers, the most important distinction between an SRO and a regular police officer is the proactive educational role that they play with students.They serve three very important functions:
- Law enforcement on campus
- Law-related counselor
- Law-related educator
From the National School Resource Officer Literature:
“As a law enforcement officer, the school becomes the officer's beat. The SRO assists the school administration in maintaining a safe and secure environment. School administrators benefit from the SROs training, knowledge and experience is handling situations involving possible weapons violations or in the identification of controlled dangerous substances. The SRO provides a highly visible presence to deter or identify trespassers on campus.
SROs are responsible for investigating violations of criminal law and when appropriate make arrests. An SROs sworn duty to enforce the law does not contradict the need for the SRO to be positive role model -- it in fact supports it. It is essential for a SRO to endorse high moral standards and use good judgment and discretion. Through this, students learn and understand what a professional police officer does.
It is important to note that SROs are not school disciplinarians. SROs should not be involved in investigating school rule violations: For example, a student cheating on a test. Violations of school rules are the responsibility of the principal and faculty. If a violation of a school rule is also a criminal offense the SRO may conduct a concurrent investigation and take the appropriate action under the policies and procedures set forth by their police agency.”