S E A R C H   
The Role of the School Resource Officer

SRO Definition:

What is an SRO?

Before you start:

What is your personal definition of a School Resource Officer?

Take a couple of minutes to jot down your own understanding of SROs and their role in the school environment. Compare this definition to one you arrive with at the end of this tutorial.

School Resource Officer programs have been is existence across the nation for many decades. The National Association of School Resource Officers credits Flint Michigan as being the birthplace of the School Resource Officer Program. School Resource Officer programs have been implemented in all 50 states; Florida and North Carolina being two that have statewide programs, which have been in existence for many years.

Although there is no precise definition of an SRO, there are common practices that define what a true School Resource Officer does. Since there is no requirement to use the term SRO or School Resource Officer, several police departments have modified or changed the title. The term "EFO" or "Educational Facilities Officer" may be substituted where appropriate. The common practices define what an SRO is, not which acronym you use.

The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Fact Sheet #5 from March 2001 defines a School Resource Officer (SRO) as a "career law enforcement officer, with sworn authority, assigned by the employing police-department to work at a school in collaboration with school and community-based organizations." The Center for the Prevention of School Violence further defines an SRO as "a certified law enforcement officer who is permanently assigned to provide coverage to a school or set of schools. The SRO is specifically trained to perform three roles: law enforcement officer; law- related counselor; and law-related teacher."  When we look for a definition of what a School Resource officer is; we must look at the philosophy behind the program.

A blending of the two definitions can best describe a School Resource Officer -- a sworn law enforcement officer, assigned to a school on a long-term basis. The SRO is specifically trained in and performs three main functions, law enforcement officer; law related counselor; and law related educator. In addition the SRO works in collaboration with the school and the community as a resource.

Follow Up Questions
Do schools in your area have SRO's? Why or why not? Why have SRO programs become more popular? What does the SRO program provide that a school police department or school security force cannot offer?








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SRO Defined
Building a Foundation
Context for Tutorial
Relevant Audiences
About the Author