The COPS Office is committed to supporting safe schools where students can learn and teachers can educate by providing a variety of resources, including grant funds to help deploy school resource officers (SROs). FY 2013 applicants who committed to deploying an SRO under the COPS Hiring Program (CHP) received additional consideration for funding.
To help our schools continue to be safe so that children can learn and develop, the community policing philosophy engages law enforcement, school administrators, parents, and students in a problem-solving partnership. The central mission of this partnership is student success. When students succeed, the entire community succeeds: students who experience achievement and make positive contributions within their schools become productive citizens in the larger community.
SROs are sworn law enforcement officers responsible for providing security and crime prevention services in the school environment. A local police department, sheriff's agency, or school system typically employs SROs who work closely with school administrators in an effort to create a safer environment for both students and staff. The responsibilities of SROs are similar to regular police officers in that they have the ability to make arrests, respond to calls for service, and document incidents that occur within their jurisdiction.
Officers should take the initiative to finalize school safety planning and build partnerships for future needs. An officer's primary responsibility is law enforcement; however, whenever possible, SROs should strive to employ non-punitive techniques when interacting with students, and an arrest should be used only as a last resort under specified circumstances. SROs play an integral role in the educational system and should positively impact the school environment.