School Resource Officer
A SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER PROGRAM IS: a full-time law enforcement officer in the schools with the goal of creating and maintaining a safe educational environment for students, teachers and staff. With such a program, the officer represents a superior model of community policing. A School Resource Officer (SRO) represents a specialized approach providing evidence of a community’s desire to ensure that a safe and secure learning environment exists in its schools.
SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS ARE: a valuable resource for their assigned schools as well as the school district to which they are assigned. The SRO’s obtain specialized training to fulfill basic roles:
- First and foremost they are Law Enforcement Officers whose primary purpose is to keep the peace in their schools so students can learn.
- Second they are Advisors who provide guidance to students about law enforcement questions.
- Third they are a Resource to act as a link to support services both inside and outside the school environment.
- And fourth they are Law-Related Teachers who provide the schools with an additional resource by sharing their expertise in the law-related education classroom.
Beyond these identified roles, and perhaps most important, SRO’s are Positive Role Models for many students who are not exposed to such role models in today’s society.
SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS WILL NOT: enter the school and begin stepping on toes and interfering with the way the school functions.
- The SRO will NOT replace school security who will continue to function as usual. The SRO can be contacted for help or training, but the SRO will not act as a security guard.
- The SRO will not attempt to replace certified teachers. SRO’s will act as guest instructors for informational and entertainment value.
- Student’s rights will be protected under the search and seizure laws of the United States Constitution. Students will not be subject to unlawful searches or interrogations. Parents will be contacted as the law and school policy dictate when students are dealt with regarding criminal activity.
- The school staff and teachers will not be asked to act as the SRO’s agent. The school will react and follow up on tips and complaints as school policy warrants. The school will then initiate the SRO as if they were calling 911. If the situation is potentially life threatening, the SRO would of course intervene.
THE "PROMISE" OF AN SRO PROGRAM IS: an encouraging strategy to enable communities to address school problems with both prevention and intervention techniques. Having an SRO on a school campus can prevent problems from happening. When problems do arise, SRO’s can intervene immediately to address what is taking place. The result is a safer and more secure school for students, teachers and staff. The entire community benefits as well because learning is more likely to take place in such an environment.
The SRO program focuses on a proactive approach to law enforcement rather than a reactive approach. Officers are trained in the "triad" approach for law enforcement programs in the schools outlining the role of the SRO as that of a teacher, counselor, and law enforcement officer.
For the past 5 years, and through funding from the School District of Lancaster, the Lancaster City Police Department has employed 6 School Resource Officers within the middle and high schools.
- Officer Carlos Luciano - JP McCaskey High School
- Officer David Shell - McCaskey East High School
- Officer Jeff Gerhart - Lincoln Middle School
- Officer David Ruiz - Hand Middle School
- Officer Mike Hyson - Reynolds Middle School
SRO's are supervised by SGT Dorsey Sumrall. Any questions or comments about SRO's or the SRO program may be directed to SGT Sumrall at (717) 735-3372.