The SRO Program was first implemented in Flint, Michigan in 1951. Since the program's inception, it has successfully been put into practice in school districts and states all over America. Sheriff Huey "Hoss" Mack started the SRO Program in Baldwin
County in 2007.
The program was implemented in partnership with the Baldwin County Public School System and started with an alternative education program dealing with at risk and special needs students. The program has since evolved to be a strong resource shared at schools throughout Baldwin County. Many other law enforcement agencies throughout Baldwin County have also implemented SRO Programs in order to provide services to all public schools in Baldwin County. With the increasingly high amounts of pressures children are facing, growing up can be an extreme challenge. We understand the need to provide positive guidance, and we are committed to providing them with a safe school environment.
Furthermore, the function of our program has adapted and changed to keep up with the growing needs and trends of our children and schools. We partner with schools by providing training to students and staff. This training covers issues such as bullying, internet safety, drug and alcohol awareness, and other real life issues which affect our children and communities within Baldwin County. We are currently serving Perdido Elementary, Pine Grove Elementary, Delta Elementary, Stapleton Elementary, Belforest Elementary, Rosinton Elementary, Elsanor Elementary, CF Taylor Alternative School, South Baldwin Center for Technology, Magnolia School, and Swift School.
The involvement of SROs extends far beyond the classroom and the normal workday. Officers participate in parent-teacher conferences and faculty meetings, student social and sporting events, and club projects. The presence of SROs tends to strengthen the student/police bonds and shows the officers' commitment to the students and their education and safety.
A School Resource Officer (SRO) is a certified law enforcement officer who is assigned full-time to work with schools. Accordingly, SROs receive many hours of ongoing specialized training. The concept is similar to the "cop on foot patrol" who knows the people he serves on a first name basis and is sensitive to their particular needs.
Like many adults, some students view police officers solely as enforcers of laws. By establishing a rapport with the SRO assigned to their school, students will not only gain positive role models, but also a better understanding of law enforcement
officers. They will also better understand the many other duties and responsibilities associated with their profession aside from traditional law enforcement.
Likewise, SROs will gain a better perspective of the youth in their schools. By carefully assessing the needs of individual students, SROs will be more aware of the development of unhealthy or destructive behavioral patterns. Through early intervention, it is possible to redirect negative behaviors before they cause students to be referred to the criminal justice system.
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