School Resource Officers promote safe school environment through relationships with students

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CCSD School Resource Officers shared a safety presentation during the district's recent Professional Development Day

Do you know your school’s resource officer? What is a school resource officer (SRO)? Maybe you’ve seen him at school but have never actually talked to him? Or maybe he has chatted with you at your lunch table, spoken with you in the hallway, or you’ve shot hoops with him in the gym during lunch? Whatever your answers to these questions may be, SRO Supervisor Greg Johnson is here to explain how school resource officers strive to keep the school, teachers, staff, and students safe.

 

Cache County School District is privileged to have a team of eight SROs working in schools throughout the district. Two SROs cover the 17 elementary schools, one covers the three middle schools, and each high school has its own SRO who is available during school hours to students, parents, teachers, and faculty.

 

Johnson has worked 23 years in the Cache County Sheriff’s office, five years as Sky View’s SRO, and has been Cache County's SRO Supervisor for the past two years. He explained that SROs are expected to have an approachable personality, exemplary communication skills, flexibility, and the ability to adapt to the schools wherein they work. To maintain school safety, SROs strive to become part of the school by building relationships with students and staff members. It’s not uncommon to see a school resource officer chatting with students in the hall or playing a quick game of basketball in the gym. “We really have the opportunity to develop a relationship with the kids and to get to know them. That opens the door for communication,” Johnson said. “Once those doors are opened, they will come to us about problems that are going on at the schools.” That trust and relationships between students, faculty, and SROs help to promote a safe school environment.

 

SROs are receiving more tips within and outside the schools because of their relationships of trust. Johnson advises students to “come to school to learn, but also be aware of your surroundings. If you see something that could cause potential harm, report it.” Students are encouraged to share safety concerns with their SRO, teacher, admin or through the SafeUT app. Parents are also welcome to reach out to the SRO during school hours. "Come in and speak with us about truancy or other concerns you have," Johnson invited. "We are available to parents as well. We're here to find solutions to help you get through whatever it is that your student is having problems with."

 

If, as a student, you're interested in getting to know more about how SROs function in your school, Johnson suggests that “the best way to get to know your SRO is to take our class.” Each high school holds a one-trimester law enforcement class instructed by the school’s SRO. Often, it is in that class where Johnson and other SROs build lifelong relationships with students. Because of the relationships, growth, and solutions that SROs are able to be part of in schools, Johnson believes that he has the “best assignment in law enforcement.”

 

We are so grateful to our district’s team of SROs for their efforts to keep our schools, students, and staff members safe!