A School Resource Officer (SRO) is a full-time law enforcement officer placed in schools to create and maintain a secure educational environment for students, teachers, and staff. This program offers a specialized approach to community-oriented policing by ensuring that a safe and secure learning environment exists in our community.
SROs are a valuable resource utilized by local school districts. Officers are trained in the “triad” approach for law enforcement programs in schools, outlining the SRO’s role as that of a teacher, counselor, and law enforcement officer. The SROs obtain specialized training to perform these duties:
- Keep the peace in schools so students and faculty can focus on education.
- Provide guidance to students about law enforcement questions.
- Act as a link to support services on and off school campus.
- Assist teachers by providing their expertise about the law in a classroom or other educational setting.
Most importantly, SROs serve as positive role models for all students on campus, especially ones who may need an adult figure to inspire them to reach their fullest potential in and outside the classroom.
SROs will not interfere with the way the school functions.
- SROs do not replace school security. The assigned officer can help with training, but the SRO will not act as a security guard.
- SROs will not attempt to replace certified teachers. They will act as guest instructors for informational and entertainment value.
- Students’ rights are protected under the search and seizure laws of the United States Constitution. Students will not be subject to unlawful searches or interrogations. When dealing with criminal activities on school property, parents will be notified as the law and school policy dictate.
- The school’s faculty and staff will not act as the SRO’s agent. Schools will follow up on tips and complaints as the school policy warrants. The school will then initiate the SRO as if they were calling 911. If the situation is potentially life-threatening, the SRO would then intervene.
With the implementation of the SRO program, communities can address school safety issues with prevention and intervention techniques. Having an assigned SRO on the school’s campus can deter criminal activities from taking place. If any safety concerns arise, the SRO can intervene immediately to address the issue. The result is a safer and more secure school environment so faculty and staff can continue providing education to students without disruption.
Funding for this program has been provided by the School District of Lancaster. Currently, the Lancaster City Bureau of Police has 5 School Resource Officers assigned to the middle and high schools.
- David Ruiz, Jackson Middle School
- Michael Hyson, Lincoln Middle School
- Andrew Williams, McCaskey East High School
- Josiah King, J.P. McCaskey High School
- Shannon Mazzante, Reynolds Middle School
Contact Crime Prevention Unit Sergeant
Sgt. Joel Thomas, Crime Prevention Unit Sergeant, supervises all SROs. Any questions or comments about SROs or the program may be directed to Sgt. Thomas at (717) 735-3369 or by email [email protected].