School Resource Deputies
The Parker County school resource officers (SROs) are certified law enforcement officers who are assigned, full-time, to the local school districts. For this, the SROs receive many hours of specialized training.
Like many adults, some students view police officers solely as enforcement officers of the law. By establishing rapport with their school’s SRO at a young age, students will not only gain a positive role model, but also may develop a better understanding of a deputy sheriff’s many duties and responsibilities.
Likewise, SROs will gain a better perspective of the youngsters in their school. By carefully assessing the needs of individual students, SROs will be more aware of the development of unhealthy or destructive behavioral patterns. Through early intervention, it is possible in many cases to redirect negative behaviors before they cause a student to be referred to the criminal justice system.
Summary of Duties
SROs have many duties, including the following:
- Assisting the juvenile investigator with juvenile cases during the school year and summer break
- Assisting with existing school programs such as athletic events, dances, and PTA programs
- Building rapport with students and staff
- Counseling students, parents, and school staff to resolve problems or misunderstandings in order to reduce the possibility of criminal activity and violence
- Deterring criminal activity during passing periods, and lunch breaks, as well as before and after school (both inside and outside of school)
- Establishing programs that benefit the students, school district, Sheriff’s Office, and community
- Maintaining a safe and healthy work and learning environment for staff and students
- Providing educational information both in and out of the classroom on various topics, such as:
- Child abuse
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Family violence
- Law enforcement as a career
- Suicide prevention
- Texas state laws (penal, traffic, education code, health and safety code)
- Tobacco education
- Traffic safety
- Providing extra traffic enforcement and control in school zones and school districts
- Serving as a link between the school district and law enforcement agencies and other social services
Goals for the SRO Program
Students are encouraged to seek the personalized attention of SROs. Each officer is specially trained to conduct individual or group sessions. SROs are available for conferences with students, parents, and faculty members. All of this helps to prevent delinquent behavior, which is a primary goal of the program. Additionally, SROs aim to achieve the following goals:
- Build rapport with the students
- Create, start, and expand programs with vision and creativity to increase student participation, which will benefit the student, school district, Sheriff’s Office, and community
- Give students a chance to interact with law enforcement officers
- Lower crime rates long-term
- Present a positive role model instilling good citizenship qualities
- Reduce the risk of violence on campus and maintain safety across the school district
Message From the SROs
The following are personal messages from some of the local SROs:
- A little respect will go a long way. Treat others as you want to be treated. Believe in yourself, no goal in life is too high. Learn from your mistakes.
- Corporal B.J. Sharp
- Stay in school! Get a good education. Learn all you can. There is no success without education.
- Deputy Eric Peninger
- Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.
- Deputy Traci Brockway