Showing posts with label SRO Program. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SRO Program. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Is the SRO Program - a chance for Peoria Police to become a positive force in our schools and subsequently our Community?

In essence Carl Cannon and his Elite Team can be considered School Resource Officers...

After learning more about the School Resource Officer (SRO) program, I must admit that I agree with the move to make this change. I view it as a chance for Peoria Police to become a positive force in our community. This program can be effective, in that it will make sure that the children with problems and/or acting out will receive the interventions they need, thereby making a healthier school and community.

We have tried for generations to push those we deem undesirable aside. Now that our chickens have come home to roost, we see that out of sight out of mind does not work. The way we have been dealing with minors with problems has hurt our community greatly. It's time to start dealing with our issues and stop pushing them aside. In my opinion, this program is a step in the right direction.

The description of a School Resource Officer (SRO), from a Chapel Hill, North Carolina school: The purpose of the School Resource Officer (SRO) is to be a peace officer by maintaining order at the assigned school campus with the legal authority to arrest if required. The SRO is a resource teacher in the areas of law enforcement education that can be applied in the classroom. The SRO can also be a counselor, by listening and assisting students with various problems. This approach enables the SRO to be a positive law enforcement role model and use proactive prevention by exposing human qualities of law enforcement to our youth and give them a trustworthy adult upon whom to depend.

The SRO shall be responsible for diverting minor law enforcement infractions through school disciplinary avenues and parent counseling as opposed to sending the juvenile into the criminal court system. However, if the SRO feels that the criminal offense is serious enough to warrant action through the criminal court system, he or she will investigate and file charges against the student with local law enforcement if the charges are substantiated and filing charges is consistent with local law enforcement procedures. The SRO should follow the proper procedures to see that charges are filed and supply court personnel with complete documentation of the crime, victims, suspects, reports and other required information.

The SRO shall carry out arrest, search and seizure procedures for juveniles under the age of 16 in accordance with state and federal law. When an SRO takes a juvenile over the age of 16 into custody, he/she shall follow the same course of action as set forth for the arrest of adults.

The SRO investigates criminal activity committed on school property or involving students assigned to the officer’s school. SROs shall not be utilized as school disciplinarians. However, they may assist school administrators with these duties as requested. The assistance may include searching and seizing students with reasonable suspicion only when requested by school officials, unless search and seizure is otherwise authorized by law.

An SRO is expected to handle all situations professionally and ethically. Student information may be obtained from a variety of sources and the SRO is expected to use sound professional judgment in determining what information they should share or act upon.

The local police departments require an SRO to wear a full police department uniform including all required equipment. On some occasions, with approval of their police department supervisor, it may be appropriate to wear plain clothes attire. The SRO shall have in his/her possession, at all times, department issued identification and badge, a fully loaded firearm, handheld radio, pager, handcuffs and all necessary keys to the officer’s assigned school. The required equipment may include a taser.

When performing security functions at school events and, as circumstances dictate, the officers shall wear appropriate uniform or plain clothes attire.

It is a goal of our School Resource Officers to make sure that the students feel protected and also that students learn there are consequences for their actions. We truly want the students and the community to feel secure in their schools.

If we care enough to complain, we owe it to ourselves and our community to do some research:

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The disservice that has been done to parents of District 150 Schools


Imagine if the school board started a letter writing campaign, to ask parents to demand that police make sure that their children are safe on the streets as they travel back and forth to school and once they reached their neighborhoods. I bet the police union wouldn't like that.

Today, the Labor Representative for the Policemen’s Benevolent Labor Committee sent a letter into the Peoria Chronicle to urge citizens to do the following:
"... contact each school board member and oppose any action that would diminish the authority of the campus police department and urge them to improve the safety in the learning environment."
I find this dissension among agencies charged with the well being of our children very concerning, and I really wish that it could have been resolved in planning meetings - not aired out in a letter sent to local blog.

When August 22 rolls around and the SROs are in place, how can we feel that our students and teachers will be safe, when the Leader of the Policeman's Benevolent Labor Committee said they won't be?

I can't help but to wonder what is the opinion of Chief Security Officer, Greg Collins on this issue. Surely he is involved in the planning meetings. Considering he came on board recently - more than likely he understood the move to the SRO program (I would hope he did at least).

The District needs to do a public relations push ASAP, to make sure that the community understands the SRO program; and more importantly, so that parents will know that their children WILL be safe when August 22nd rolls around and they return to school.

As a parent, I would like to see the District clarify publicly how the program will work AND the chief security officer needs to reassure us that he trusts what is happening and is a part of the plan to make sure it works. Parents deserve to get some type of reassurance at this point.