School Resource Officer
The Douglas Police Department currently has one sworn officer assigned as an SRO, Officer Bryan Kelley. The SRO is based out of the Douglas High School but also works with Douglas Middle School, Douglas Upper Elementary School, Douglas Intermediate School, Douglas Primary School and Central Administration. The SRO also works with other agencies in our community to facilitate services in and out of schools as well.
School Resource Officer Program
What is an SRO? SRO is an abbreviated and common term for a School Resource Officer.
The School Resource Officer program (SRO) is a nationally accepted program involving the placement of a law enforcement officer within the educational environment. Although School Resource Officer programs have been in the schools since the 1960's, programs have grown exponentially over the past several years, particularly in response to the increase in school related violence.
The Need for an Officer
A question frequently asked is "Are the schools so bad that we need a cop there every day?" The answer is NO. The SRO is there as a resource for students, parents, teachers and administration and to establish relationships with members of our community. The SRO assists grades K-12 with safety related topics from the elementary schools to issues affecting teens in high school such as use of alcohol, drugs and tobacco, gang activity, internet safety, child welfare, etc. These situations are not only in the schools, but in the community. The SRO program is designed to be proactive.
When successful, the program has proven to be a very positive asset to the school and community. And of course, should an issue needing the attention of Law Enforcement arise, the SRO is readily available. In some cases, the simple presence of an officer is deterrent enough for many bad behaviors.
How the Program Works
How does it work, what does an SRO do? The basic concept for the duties of an SRO includes creating a positive role model for students, creating a link between law enforcement and the students, and being a resource for parents, staff, administration, and students in regard to law enforcement and community problems. The SRO is also available to investigate crimes that occur on school grounds. The program functions on three levels consisting of law enforcement, student counseling, and law-related education.
Law Enforcement - The SRO is NOT a school disciplinarian but does work with the school administration when a violation of criminal law has occurred. The SRO is a sworn police officer employed with the Douglas Police Department.
Student Counseling - The predominate amount of time the SRO spends in the school is dedicated to a variety of functions aimed at prevention and education. Another duty for the SRO is being a link to other service agencies which provide preventive and counseling services within the school district. Working hand in hand with the school administration, the SRO can assist with finding solutions to problems affecting school age children.
Law related education - Besides being an active law enforcement officer, the SRO is a teacher. In the classroom, an SRO can present topics with relevance to the students' lives.