The subject of hiring a school resource officer–a type of specially-trained police officer–to help protect students in Saucon Valley schools came up at the Feb. 27 meeting of the Saucon Valley School Board.
Leslie Repyneck, a parent and Lower Saucon Township resident, put the question to the board.
“Is Saucon Valley considering having a resource officer?” she asked.
Board president Michael Karabin told her that the district is not considering hiring a resource officer “at this time.”
However, “I presume in the near future we’ll be discussing this in far more detail,” he added.
A number of schools in the Lehigh Valley already have school resource officers, including the Salisbury Township and East Penn school districts.
The School Resource Officer(SRO) program was implemented in the Salisbury Township School District in September 2005, by mutual consent and agreement of the Salisbury Township Board of Commissioners and the Salisbury Township School District, with the following goals:
- To create and maintain a safe, secure, and orderly learning environment for students, parents, teachers, and all other school personnel
- To establish a trusting channel of communication with students, parents, and teachers
- To serve as a positive role model
- To take steps appropriate and consistent with a law enforcement officer’s duty, if a crime should occur
- To bridge the gap between law enforcement officers and students and to increase positive attitudes toward law enforcement
The SRO program is just that, a resource. This program represents and reflects a proactive community partnership between Salisbury Township and the Salisbury Township School District. The SRO program is based on a triad concept, which consists of a law enforcement officer, a teacher and an informal counselor. As a law enforcement officer, the SRO investigates crimes and makes arrests, when state laws are violated. The SRO can be an educational resource and can provide law related information to students, parents, and teachers. The SRO may also work with the school’s counselors to provide information on community services, as well as the law. School Resource Officers have become a valuable part of schools and an important link between students and the police community.