School Resource Officer (SRO)

The Iredell County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Unit emphasizes early intervention in the lives of youth who are at risk. The team includes a Lieutenant, a Sergeant and 8 school resource officers. The goal is to redirect negative behavior before it lands a student in the court system.

Empowering Youth
Unit members are active in Iredell County teen programs, which divert minor offenders from the juvenile justice system. Programs are designed to empower youth to take charge situations that could adversely affect them. School resource officers and juvenile crime detectives work together and are regularly in contact with the same youths.

Providing School Coverage
A full-time school resource officer is in each of the high schools, middle schools, and in the alternative school in Iredell County. The officers work for the Sheriff’s Office and assist the school administrators on security and safety issues and investigate crimes in which students are victims or suspects. A school resource officer is a certified law enforcement officer who is permanently assigned to provide coverage to a school. The SRO is specifically trained to perform 3 roles:
  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Law-Related Counselor
  • Law-Related Education Teacher

The SRO is not necessarily a DARE or GREAT officer (although many have received such training), security guard, or officer who has been placed temporarily in a school in response to a crisis situation but rather acts as a comprehensive resource for his / her school.

Providing Guidance & Services
S.R.O.s provide information and advice to students concerning subjects about which they have expertise. They are familiar, for example, with the workings of the juvenile court system and can provide guidance about processes and services. They can offer suggestions about programs that might be available. As law-related education teachers, S.R.O.s draw upon their expertise about the law. As with the counseling role, S.R.O.s are not replacements for teachers or S.A.P’s; rather they provide an additional resource, which can be drawn upon to teach young people about the law. . They can enhance teachers’ efforts to educate students about rights and responsibilities. They can it make clear that student responsibilities are associated with the rights we all enjoy as citizens living in this democracy.

Duties
Duties of the School Resource Officer include:
  • To prevent juvenile delinquency through close contact with students and school personnel
  • To establish liaison with school principals, faculty, and students
  • To establish and maintain communications with other S.R.O.s in the school system to bring about a countywide approach
  • To inform the students of their rights and responsibilities as lawful citizens
  • To provide liaison between students and social agencies which provide needed services
  • To act as a liaison resource to the principal in investigating criminal violations occurring in the school or on school property
  • To assist the administration and faculty in formulating criminal justice programs
  • To formulate educational crime prevention programs to reduce the opportunity for crimes against persons and property in the schools
  • To participate in the Parent-Teacher-Student Association meetings as requested
  • To participate in campus activities, student organizations, and athletic events when invited and feasible
  • To be aware at all times of the responsibility to improve the image of the uniformed law enforcement officer in the eyes of the students and the community
This allows parents and students to speak with the S.R.O. serving them. The Iredell County Sheriff's Office hopes that students will use this service to promote better communication between the 2. We hope that students will use this service to provide information on concerns and/or criminal activity in the school environment.

Programs
Programs initiated by school resource officers include:
  • Community service projects
  • Conflict Resolution and Peer Mediation
  • GREAT in 7th Grade
  • Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE)
The officers give classroom presentations on law and crime prevention topics. They are also available for conferences with students, parents and faculty.