School Resource Officer
Our District employs one dedicated police officer to oversee our district-wide security efforts. This provides several benefits to the district:
- Receives specific, ongoing security training from the local,state and federal levels and keeps the district focused on latest best practices.
- Provides quality control measures to make sure we are able to practice and execute all that is specified in our emergency plans.
- Provides a strong communication link between schools and police. This helps the district head off issues happening in the community before they pose risk to our school buildings.
What are the goals of a School Resource Officer?
I want to be a positive role model for St. James R-I students. I want students to be able to trust me and also, on the other side, be a positive image for the public towards police. Starting young with students is important. To show them police are okay—that WE ARE good people to go to when they need help.
What's the job of a School Resource Officer?
The primary goal is safety of the students and staff. I spend time monitoring the schools and planning different ways to make the safety of each school stronger. My number one job is for the safety of the students. If something happens, I am present to stop it.
This year, I will be teaching D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) to the 5th-grade students. I am very excited to help guide the decisions of our students away from drugs and alcohol in the future by showing them the dangers of both.
I also have to be an enforcer of laws. I do have the discretion to enforce the law, and I will use that discretion, but there are times when I do not have a choice. I do not want to be seen as just an authority figure. That’s not my goal. I want an in-between stance—firm but fair.
- Arrival and dismissal are monitored by administration and several building staff members, who are outside and in hallways.
- Once school begins, all school doors are locked throughout the school day. School security officers conduct regular spot checks to ensure compliance.
- During the school day, families and visitors are screened by the building secretary in a scure entrance to request access.
- The district has developed and maintains a rigorous emergency preparedness plan. This plan addresses all manner of crisis situations and is outlined in an emergency manual posted throughout the district.
- All staff are trained by our school security officer on an ongoing basis to ensure they are able to execute the maneuvers and processes as outlined in the emergency manual.
- Emergency drills are conducted at each school on a regular basis.
- We make our school buildings available to local law enforcement during the summer months to conduct crisis response simulations. These exercises maintain preparedness for both local law enforcement and the district.