Cops in the Classroom: Bainbridge Could get ‘SRO’November 5th, 2007 by josh farley
Josh Farley writes:
It’s no secret that demands on law enforcement officers continue to change in this day and age, and one of the more specialized roles is the School Resource Officer, or SRO for short.
Most school districts have an SRO: The Port Orchard, Poulsbo and Bremerton police departments each contract with their respective school districts, as does the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office for the North and South Kitsap school districts.
Meanwhile, the Bainbridge and Central Kitsap School Districts continue to go it with security guards. Although according to the Bainbridge Notebook blog, the island could indeed get its own school resource officer soon.
Althea Paulson, author of the Bainbridge Notebook, found the approximately $103,000 budget item tucked into the city of Bainbridge Island’s draft budget.
Generally, school districts fund a portion of the SRO’s salary — in this proposed case about a third — while an officer’s employer (the city in this case) picks up the rest.
Interestingly, Paulson notes, the school district commissioned a security review following a school year that included suspected threats of gun violence, bomb threats that cancelled finals, and charges against girls who poisoned their teacher.
But it’s not just safety that an officer is needed for. More from Paulson:
Outgoing school board member Bruce Weiland explained to me that security isn’t the main reason the district wants a campus police officer. Rather, the Board wants someone who can develop relationships with students, so teens have a more positive impression of law enforcement. And if there is an emergency on campus, the SRO will be an on-site responder who is familiar with students and the campus layout.
Whether the city ultimately approves spending the $103,000 — $57,000 of which is acutal salary for the officer — is yet to be seen.