School Resource Officers (SROs) have a diverse role in the school and the community with many duties and responsibilities. SROs are sworn officers from the Town of Hamburg Police Department assigned to our schools on a long-term basis to perform three major roles:
- law enforcement officer
- law-related counselor
- law-related educator
SROs are nationally certified and work in collaboration with the Frontier Central School District as a resource to ensure the safety and security of students, staff, and visitors. School administrators benefit from the SROs' training, knowledge and experience in handling emergency and non-emergency situations disrupting the educational process. The SRO provides a highly-visible presence to detect, deter, and delay potential threats, criminal actions and traffic infractions on campus and in surrounding communities. Additionally, SROs serve on the District Safety Team, conduct safety and security audits and assessments, and develop plans, programs, and initiatives to prevent or mitigate vulnerabilities to ensure a secure and positive learning environment for our students.
SROs are responsible for investigating and enforcing crimes committed on school grounds. The SROs' sworn duty to enforce the law does not contradict the need for the SRO to be a positive role model, but rather it supports it. It is essential for an SRO to endorse high moral standards and use good judgment and discretion. Through this, students learn and understand what a professional police officer does. It is important to note that SROs are not school disciplinarians. SROs may be consulted, but are not actively involved with investigating school rule violations. Such infractions are the sole responsibility of school administrators.
SROs assist school administrators and student services staff with investigating and conducting behavioral threat assessments, threats of self-harm, bullying, harassment, abuse, and neglect. Additionally, the SRO may be called upon to support conflict resolution and restorative efforts between students. Parents may seek information from the SRO for problematic issues at home or out of general concern regarding certain trends affecting their children or to obtain parental resources and referrals. Many times, students will seek advice from the SRO concerning recent events or talk about the problems they are experiencing. The SRO acts as another caring adult in the school building who works to find positive solutions for young people.
SROs serve as a resource for educators in the sharing of their experience and expertise as a law-related educator when they are invited into the classroom as guest speakers. Classroom presentations by an SRO complement the school's curriculum, as well as give the SRO the opportunity to interact with students, discuss law-related topics, and reinforce prevention and diversion initiatives. The contact the SRO has with students in the classroom is a positive learning experience designed to promote responsible citizenship and give the student a better understanding of how our legal system works and the role of police in a free society.
In addition to supporting the faculty in the classroom, SROs provide other educational activities to students and the community.
Social Media Risks & Digital Citizenship
School Resource Officers work with community partners and federal government agencies to present a dynamic course designed and focused to educate Middle School-aged students on the risky behaviors currently demonstrated by individuals in their age group. This class includes case studies, video presentations, and group discussions. The course addresses such topics as sexting, online bullying, criminal threats, and common school-related crimes. This is a victim prevention-focused course, but also stresses perpetrator accountability, which can result in school discipline, criminal action, or civil liability. This curriculum is derived from resources obtained through NetSmartz and the Digital Foundations Initiative.
Internet Safety & Personal Responsibility
School Resource Officers created an internet safety course designed to educate parents and school staff about some of the dangers our children face when using the internet. This presentation addresses online predators, cyber bullying, identifying questionable websites/apps, risky online communications, and potential consequences. SROs provide resources, tips, and referrals to services that assist parents to navigate, monitor, and further participate in their child's digital life.
Site Safety & Lockdown Procedures
School Resource Officers work closely with the school district at each campus in developing site safety plans and lockdown procedures. SROs assess each campus for vulnerabilities and areas of concern, then offer mitigation plans. SROs provide expertise to assist in the development of emergency operations plans and emergency management for school-based incidents. Additionally, SROs provide crisis and emergency training to the faculty and staff.
Substance Abuse & Narcotics Education
School Resource Officers tailor substance abuse education to specific age groups and the needs of each audience. These topics can range from current street-drug trends, prescription medications, and introductory type drugs, to alcohol and nicotine use. Officers have Powerpoint presentations, videos, educational brochures, and paraphernalia displays. SROs work with community partners and government agencies to conduct large-scale presentations geared toward the Middle and High School-aged students.
Youth & Community Outreach
School Resource Officers develop and maintain relationships with at-risk youth and work closely with Town of Hamburg Youth and Recreation personnel to provide social, emotional, and mental health resiliency programs that bolster the value of drug and crime prevention and violence diversion. SROs represent the department and district within community organizations and outreach groups, such as the Hamburg Drug Free Community Coalition and Parent Child Connection.
There is no database with identifying information for children in the event they become missing. Therefore, the responsibility falls on parents to retain identifiable information for children, such as current photographs, dental records, and DNA. Our School Resource Officers can assist you in creating a Child ID Kit at home. Some businesses may also provide child identification services including photographing and fingerprinting. Visit the Your Safe Child website for more information.
Supplied by Project Child Safe and distributed at community events in an effort to keep children safe from accessing firearms. These cable-style gun locks can be used in autoloading pistols, revolvers, bolt action rifles, autoloading and pump-action shotguns. However, no firearm’s safety or lock can be a substitute for careful gun handling and storage in mechanical or electronic lock boxes or gun safes. Guns often used by minors, such as BB/pellet, airsoft, and paintball guns, can also cause serious injury and precautions should be taken to secure them as well. Parents are encouraged to inform youth regarding the laws for possession and use of weapons by minors, including “imitation” or “replica” firearms.
Red Ribbon Week
A national drug awareness initiative held annually at the end of October in participating communities and schools. Throughout the week, School Resource Officers take part in school and community events and activities and provide presentations educating children about the dangers of alcohol, nicotine, and drug use. Learn More Here
S.A.F.E. Program (Safety Awareness For Elementary)
Taught by School Resource Officers in grades Kindergarten-4. Lessons focus on a variety of topics, such as stranger danger, 911, gun safety, dangers of drugs, and cyber safety. Instruction is designed to be age appropriate, encourage problem solving, and allow children to interact with law enforcement in a positive way. The S.A.F.E program is delivered through the use of "Rocket Rules", a National Association of School Resource Officers approved curriculum.
Look for Frontier's SRO Corner in the weekly Falcon Update.