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Posted on October 18, 2019 at 10:36 AM by Kristy Bansemer
Derby Police Department’s School Resource Officers (SROs) start their day by greeting students at their assigned schools with high fives and fist bumps. Guardian, mentor, coach and teacher are but a few roles they play as an SRO.
Each SRO’s goal is to provide a safe environment for students to learn and grow. They walk the hallways, investigate issues brought to them by the students and staff and ensure safety at the school; however, this is only a small part of their day. To be successful, SROs build relationships with students, staff and parents.
All Derby SROs are trained to teach the D.A.R.E. program to Derby’s fifth grade students to raise awareness of the harmful effects of using drugs. Upon completion of the program, a celebration is held that includes games, prizes and music. High school SROs help with the law classes and provide guidance for the Seatbelts Are For Everyone (SAFE) program. Both the middle school and high school SROs provide security at sporting events, dances and other school activities.
Students are always welcome to reach out to an SRO and discuss any topic they wish. The openness of SROs is critical to relationship building. SROs mentor students to help keep them on the right path. Some SROs coach sports in the schools, in the Derby Junior Football program and other programs.
SROs serve as the backbone of Derby’s Youth Citizen’s Police Academy, a free program held each June. They plan the curriculum, organize tours and speakers and teach some classes. SROs also lead and manage other youth programs including KidID, Safety Town and Youth Open House held each spring at the Derby Police Department.
The many programs SROs organize and participate in provide opportunities to interact with students of all ages in an atmosphere of learning, sharing and having fun. Maybe those students will become better citizens of the future…and maybe even the police officers of tomorrow.
Published in the Derby Informer on Oct. 16, 2019.