SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER
A School Resource Officer (or SRO) has a diverse role in the school community and has many duties and responsibilities. The Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office has two School Resource Officers. Deputy Tim Bailey, who is assigned to Hopkins County Central High School. Deputy John Komar covers other middle and elementary schools in the county. A School Resource Officer is a sworn deputy assigned to a school on a long-term basis trained to perform three major roles: law enforcement officer, law-related counselor, law-related educator. In addition the deputy works in collaboration with the school and the community as a resource for safety and security issues with the schools.
As a law enforcement officer, the school becomes the deputy’s beat. The SRO assists the school administration in maintaining a safe and secure environment. School administrators benefit from the SRO’s training, knowledge and experience in handling situations involving possible weapons violations or in the identification of controlled dangerous substances. The SRO provides a highly visible presence to deter or identify trespassers on campus.
In addition, SROs provide a service to the surrounding community by addressing concerns such as speeding or loud car radios. The students when going to or from school often generate these types of community complaints. SROs are responsible for investigating violations of criminal law and when appropriate make arrests. A SRO’s sworn duty to enforce the law does not contradict the need for the SRO to be positive role model; it in fact supports it. It is important to note that SROs are not school disciplinarians. SROs should not be involved in investigating school rule violations: For example, a student cheating on a test. Violations of school rules are the responsibility of the principal and faculty. If a violation of a school rule is also a criminal offense the SRO may conduct a concurrent investigation.