It is the goal of the West Branch Community School District School is to expand their partnership with the West Branch Police Department through the use of a School Resource Officer (SRO). The goal of the School Resource Officer is to collaborate with district administration, staff, parents and students to assist the district in its work to provide safe and healthy learning environments for students, staff, faculty, and guests.
The School Resource Officer (SRO) has many duties including providing input on district strategies and plans for dealing with dangerous situations (crisis management / threat assessment planning), providing law enforcement, safety, drug, and alcohol education to students, providing administrative support for cases requiring investigations beyond administrative function and being a general resource for students, teachers and parents. The School Resource Officer is also committed to providing appropriate programs and services to prevent children from becoming at risk and to intervene effectively with children already involved in the juvenile justice system.
The schools included in these efforts are West Branch High School, West Branch Middle School and Hoover Elementary School. The School Resource Officer and the West Branch Community School District continuously work to promote a coordinated effort amongst agencies and staff in order to achieve maximum public safety. All FERPA (Family Education Rights to Privacy Act) laws pertaining the the roles and rights of an SRO officer will be followed.
Frequently Asked Questions of SRO programs in Schools
Q: What is the School Resource Officer Program?
A: The School Resource Officer program serves the West Branch Community School District. The School Resource Officer is an employee of the West Branch Police Department and is not an employee of the West Branch Community School District. It is the intention of the West Branch Police Department and the West Branch Community School District to maintain collaborative efforts to provide a safe and healthy school environment for students, staff, faculty, and visitors. Both parties desire a maximum degree of long-range cooperation and administrative planning in order to provide for the safety and security of the community and its children. Both are committed to providing appropriate programs and services to prevent children from becoming at risk and to intervene effectively with children already involved in the juvenile justice system. Both are committed to improving service delivery to children in the community through sharing information, eliminating duplication of services and coordinating efforts. Lastly, both promote positive attitudes regarding the police role in society.
Q: What are the duties / responsibilities of the school resource officer?
A: To be a visible, positive law enforcement figure on campuses. To assist the superintendent, principals, faculty, and staff in developing plans and strategies to prevent and / or minimize dangerous situations that may occur on school grounds. To present topics to students on various law enforcement / safety issues with the permission and guidance from the school principal. To contact the principal of the school about any juvenile delinquency, incidents, charges, and arrests within a timely manner. To take law enforcement action when necessary. To conduct investigations of crimes that occur at any school and use other resources if needed for follow up investigations. To follow the guidelines of case law, school board policy, and the West Branch Police Department general orders in regards to investigations, interviews and searches relating to juveniles. To be a resource for students which will enable them to be associated with a law enforcement figure in the students’ environment. To be a resource for teachers, parents and students for conferences dealing with problems or questions. To wear their department authorized duty weapon and uniform in accordance with police department policy.
Q: What topics does the SRO present in school classrooms?
A: Alcohol and drug prevention, juvenile law, peer pressure, bullying, Internet safety, bicycle / traffic safety, 911 usage, stranger danger, Halloween safety, gun safety, and other topics requested by teachers.