Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) is calling for funding to be included in the 2018-19 State Budget to provide for School Resource Officers (SRO) in all New York schools. The SRO program, which currently exists in some schools districts, places a trained law enforcement professional inside schools to deter and prevent tragedies, such as those that have occurred in schools across the country.
“As a former state trooper and Erie County Sheriff, I believe strongly in the SRO program as a way to ensure safety in our schools and build a positive relationship between law enforcement officers and students,” Gallivan said. “In addition to providing security, these officers work with school administrators, staff, students and parents to help identify safety issues, train personnel and resolve conflicts before they become more serious.”
In the past, the Senate has successfully secured funding to fund SRO programs and anti-crime initiatives on a limited bases. The funds allowed some school districts to hire an SRO on either a part time or shared basis.
Gallivan says the state should incentivize school districts to hire SRO’s, but also provide resources for the potential conversion of existing part-time SRO’s into full-time positions.
“It is time to expand this program statewide, so that every school benefits from having a trained law-enforcement officer on-site,” Gallivan said.
SRO’s work closely with school administrators, faculty and staff on school safety plans and assist in required safety audits of all school buildings. They also visit classrooms and coordinate with teachers to present information on internet and social media safety, drug and alcohol abuse, heroin and opioid use and personal safety tips.