School Resource Officer Program
The foundation of a School Resource Officer (SRO) program is the Police Department’s commitment to community-oriented policing methods. Community-oriented policing looks at improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods. An SRO program focuses on the quality of life within the school and the community the school serves. As with other community-oriented policing efforts, School Resource Officer programs are proactive, solution-based, and community-driven. SROs are assigned to a school community on a long-term basis to provide full police services, including maintaining order on the school campus and reducing the fear of crime within the school community.
A School Resource Officer Program is personalized to the school in which the officer works. The SRO becomes familiar with their school’s specific needs as well as being approachable by the students and staff when issues arise. The SRO works with the school administration, staff, and students to build partnerships and provide guidance, plus address situations that may disrupt the school’s mission, which includes everything from parking/traffic concerns to criminal offenses occurring on campus. School Resource Officers have the opportunity to educate the school community in crime prevention methods as well as empowering them to help maintain a safe school environment. In a crisis, the SRO can communicate with school administrators and police officials and understand the needs of both entities.
SROs are present in schools because that is where the school community comes together. It is not uncommon for parents to approach the SRO concerning non-school related issues. Staff and faculty members will seek advice from the SROs concerning domestic issues or neighbor complaints. Homeowners near the school may report suspicious activity to the SRO. Business owners may request assistance from the SRO concerning student conduct in their stores. Although the SRO may be assigned to a school and its students, the actual number of citizens the SRO has contact with is almost infinite.
Chowchilla Police Department SROs also works closely with the Madera County Narcotic Enforcement Team (MADNET) and the Madera Gang Enforcement Taskforce (MADGET), along with school personnel to keep the influence of drug use and gang activity low among our high school age students.