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

SRO Definition:

School Resource Officers and Homeland Security

Kenneth Trump, president of the National School Safety and Security Services in a March 26, 2003 presentation to Oakland California educators and police officers spoke of the need for educators to recognize that their school and students are potential targets for terrorism.

  "With recent events in our nation, there must be a new focus on protecting our schools from acts of terrorism."

Unfortunately schools have always been a potential target for acts of terrorism. The 1927 bombing of a school in Bath, Michigan was one of the most violent acts of domestic terrorism in the history of our country. Every year thousands of bomb threats are directed towards schools. In 2002, two individuals in the Washington D.C. area became known as the “Beltway Snipers.” They used a schoolyard shooting to show how vulnerable we were to their crime spree. Schools are focal points of the community; they host athletic events, recreational activities and after hour programs. Hundreds of non-students utilize the resources provided to the community by the school. A school welcomes the community to use the building and its facilities, and just as with any other public space these buildings and facilities can be a potential target for those who wish to do harm or disrupt the community.

School Resource Officers -- like their police counterparts who work in the community -- are a first line defense against terrorism in the schools. SROs work with school administrators to create and implement school crisis plans. SROs maintain a high visibility proactive patrol in the areas surrounding the school campus. SROs act as a liaison between the school and local government to address increased threat levels in the community. SROs should also meet with the PTA or other student and parent groups to discuss the threats of terrorism and to keep them informed of homeland security issues, which may affect the school.

  School Resource Officers should be an essential part of all school security and emergency preparedness in a post-9/11 world.






Follow Up Questions and Implementation Activity:

In what other ways do SROs provide added security for the school facility?

Outline the role of the School Resource Officer in a security plan for your school in the event of a potential threat.








Website designed and hosted by CTE

Johns Hopkins University
Center for Technology in Education
A partnership of the Maryland State Department of Education
Copyright 2004



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