The main goal of the SRO is to prevent juvenile delinquency by promoting relations between youth and law enforcement. The SRO position encompasses three major components allowing the SRO to achieve this goal – law enforcement, education, and counseling. These 3 components allow the SRO to take a proactive approach to law enforcement. SRO’s are not just “cops” on campus. They teach law related education and other relevant topics, they counsel students on various concerns, provide a safe, secure campus and are involved in the student’s lives as a positive role model. The intent is that the positive experiences officers have with the students will bridge the gap between law enforcement and the youth of our community.
The School Resource Officer will serve as liaison, between the Police Department, the Board of Education and the Schools providing an information link regarding problems, possible solutions and/or ways to work more effectively together. The SRO will promote positive police-community relations, maintain a “service-oriented” policy on and off campus, and make presentations to school and civic groups as requested.
The SRO is available to answer your child’s questions and concerns. Parents are encouraged to contact the SRO in an attempt to assist in potential problems that the family may be experiencing.
Cpl Duff Manners was born and raised in Jacksonville, AL. He attended the Jacksonville City School System, and then went to college at Jacksonville State University. After graduating with a Criminal Justice degree from JSU, Cpl Manners was hired in January 1983 as a police officer for the city he always wanted to work for.
Cpl Manners was assigned to the Jacksonville City School System back in 1998 as the second school resource officer. Due to funding issues in early 2005, when the Sgt, who was assigned to the school system as a “DARE Officer” retired, Cpl Manners had to take up the slack and handle both the elementary and the high school duties.
What are the School Resource Officer’s responsibilities?
By working closely with the students SRO’s are able to build a rapport with the students. SRO’s are more approachable and become a source for questions and advice.
When developing this program the Jacksonville Police Department adopted a “triad” approach. This concept has been widely accepted as the model for school based officers. The triad concept divides the SRO’s responsibilities into three areas: Teacher, Counselor, and Law Enforcer.
SRO’s teach Law Related Education (LRE) to students. Some examples of LRE topics are:
- Juvenile Rights
- Substance Abuse
- Today’s Runaway
- Fighting Hate Crimes
- The Juvenile Justice System
- The Criminal Justice System
- History of Law Enforcement
- English – Professional Writing Skills
- Math – Accident Investigation, Computer Crime
- Science – Forensics, DNA Evidence, Ballistics , Accident Investigation
- Drivers Education – Mock Accidents, DUI Awareness, Defensive Driving
- Government and Law – Search & Seizure, Criminal Law, Juvenile Law, Consumer Law etc.
- Physical Education/Health – Personal Safety, Sexual Assault Awareness, Conflict Resolution, Domestic Violence Awareness Mentoring
The SRO is a resource for faculty, students and parents, providing informal counseling and/or advice. These officers have received extensive training regarding programs and services available to handle problems and conflicts. Getting the right kind of help to those that need it is one of the SRO’s highest priorities.
Law Enforcer –
Any criminal or law related issue that arises on campus is the SRO’s responsibility. In many ways his/her school is no different than any other patrol beat. Whether it is child abuse, truancy, disorderly conduct, theft, or some type of assault, the SRO is there to handle it quickly and professionally. SRO’s work closely with school administration in these issues.
The SRO is charged with proactively addressing the crimes that occur on campus, both through education and through special projects or programs. Every school is different, so each SRO must tailor his/her projects to both the problem and the school.
Mostly within the Elementary School and early high school, the SRO Programs, have become a focal point of the program. SRO’s have the opportunity to form lasting impressions on young people. To help students succeed, the SRO provides guidance, tutoring, and coaching to students with special needs or problems.
Problem Solver & Liaison to the Community –
The SRO’s are a resource to citizens who may have questions or problems relating to students. By working closely with the community SRO’s are able to focus on problem areas. Some of the frequent complaints around schools are:
- Traffic violations
Law Enforcement Specialist –
SRO’s are fully sworn peace officers. They also receive additional training specific to their position in the schools. This training helps maximize the officer’s effectiveness in the school setting.
Safety Advisory –
SRO’s and school administrators work closely together in providing a safe environment for students. SRO’s assist the school in developing and improving crisis plans, evacuations and other situations that are a safety concern.