The School Resource Officer Program is a collaborative effort by the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, Berkeley County School District, educators, students, parents, and the community to offer law related educational programs in the schools in an effort to reduce crime, drug abuse, violence, and provide a safe school environment. Our deputies routinely accompany school groups as they travel to athletic and field trips.
The School Resource Officer Program places a deputy in a school full-time to provide a variety of support programs and services to the students and staff. The overall goals of the program are to maintain a safe and secure learning environment on the school campus, influence the development of positive attitudes by youth towards the law enforcement community, and to reduce juvenile crime through the use of intervention strategies, proactive policing, and networking.
This is done by using a three stage approach called the triad concept:
Law enforcement officer:
The School Resource Officers are state certified law enforcement officers who serve as deputies for the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office. The SRO’s are required to complete a comprehensive School Resource Officer training program. These deputies enforce all state and local laws and are at the school to maintain a safe and secure learning environment
Once in their assigned school, the SRO’s function is to serve as a positive role model for the students. This is accomplished through daily interaction with the students. The SRO will teach courses on topics such as law related education, conflict resolution, internet safety, and peer pressure.
As a counselor, the SRO serves as a resource to the students, their parents, and the school faculty. Students will often first approach them with personal, scholastic, family, or law-related problems. By networking and developing response checklists, the SRO is prepared to refer persons in need to appropriate agencies that can assist them. This is the most dynamic aspect of the SRO’s assignment (being an active listener).
The SRO program is a community policing approach practiced within a school environment. The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office has twenty School Resource Officers that are assigned to schools throughout the county to include Goose Creek, Timberland, Cane Bay, Cross, and Phillip Simmons High; Cane Bay, College Park, Sedgefield, St. Stephens, Sangaree, and Macedonia Middle; Berkeley, Devon Forest, Nexton, and Whitesville elementary; Meavers School and Berkeley Prepatory. Generally speaking, this provides the maximum benefit for the school and the Sheriff’s Office. The school becomes the deputy’s beat.