Reasons I’m voting for Rebecca Kleefisch on August 9, #47: School Resource Officers

POSTING A REASON DAILY UNTIL THE PRIMARY

SRO’s. School Resource Officers in our school buildings are invaluable.

Joey Melvin, an instructor and Region 3 director for the National Association of School Resource Officers and a detective/school resource officer with the Georgetown Police Department in Sussex County wrote a column in USA TODAY in September 2020 that read in part:

Some communities across the country want to divert SRO resources to nurses and full-time mental health support. The value of adding health resources to our schools cannot be disputed. However, as an experienced school resource professional, I feel that what needs to transpire is not a transference of focus or funding, but an addition to resources within our schools. In my opinion, replacing one resource with another cannot occur without negative impacts.

As SROs know their communities, they also know their students. Understanding a student’s background and, more importantly, any trauma our students have experienced plays an integral role in an SRO’s decisions.

The physical safety of our school campuses is an essential role for the trained SRO. That’s an integral part of any SRO’s job, and there’s data to support the positive aspects of it, but the majority of positive impacts SROs make every day cannot be quantified with data. Mitigating situations, preventing crimes, mentoring children and building trusting relations are hard to track, but abundantly exist in schools with effective SRO programs.

Rebecca says:

On the one hand, we don’t want to turn everyday school discipline issues into criminal concerns that can ruin a kid’s start in life. But we fundamentally don’t believe that’s what school resource officers do. We believe they create a positive presence for police among youth, fight drug addiction among youth, and help head off and reduce youth crime through early intervention. We should have more SROs, not fewer, because teachers need to teach, not perform law enforcement duties.

SEE ALL REASONS HERE



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