School Resource Officers
The School Resource Officer (SRO) program is a problem-solving approach to reducing crime by assigning specially trained officers to each of the traditional junior and high schools in the district to establish an ongoing rapport with students, staff and parents. Fort Collins Police Services works collaboratively with Poudre School District to provide a safe learning environment for all students and staff.
The program began in 1995 and is the result of a partnership between Fort Collins Police Services and the Poudre School District. It has three basic goals:
- to provide a safe learning environment and help reduce school violence.
- to improve school/law enforcement collaboration
- to improve perceptions and relations between students, staff, and law enforcement officials.
The School Resource Officer (SRO) program in Fort Collins includes 1 Sergeant, 2 Corporals, and 11 SROs who are assigned to schools. They provide service for 38 schools in Fort Collins serving approximately 25,000 students. Poudre School District is the 9th largest school district in Colorado.
SROs fulfill three roles as a part of their job: Teaching, Informal Counseling, and Law Enforcement.
They teach, counsel, and enforce around issues related to internet safety, drug/alcohol awareness, Safe2Tell, restorative justice, welfare checks, child abuse, response to school violence training, assessing student threat/risk behavior, providing victim assistance/referrals, and conducting facility assessments/safety recommendations. Having an officer on-site also allows for rapid response in the event of an active shooter or other violent event.
SROs help coordinate wrap around services such as SAVA/DHS, CAYAK/Summitstone, Center for Family Outreach, Juvenile Recovery Court, Mediation, Deferments, and Juvenile Justice System. The juvenile justice system aims to provide justice-involved youth with resources and services that support a healthy future.
SROs receive all standard police training required at FCPS, as well as specialized training for this assignment:
- The Adolescent Brain, Mental Health and Intervention
- Restorative Justice Training
- At Risk Youth and Trauma
- Threat Assessment Training
- School Law and the Juvenile Justice System
- Juvenile Sex Assault Training
- Juvenile Sex Trafficking
- Cyber Crimes and Sexting
- Truancy and Juvenile Delinquency Concerns
- Briefings at Columbine (mass shooting debriefs)
- Single Officer Tactics Training (quarterly for SRO’s)
- FERPA, IEP and 504 training
- Basic SRO school (POST requirement)
Besides working with individual students, SROs are committed to the community policing concepts regarding their schools and surrounding neighborhoods. Officers have successfully worked on traffic issues, noise and litter complaints, drug sales, and safety in nearby parks and business areas. They have found that most problems can be solved or minimized by establishing partnerships with students, staff, families, and other members of the community.
For more information about the School Resource Officer Program contact SRO Sgt. Laura Lunsford at bGx1bnNmb3JkQGZjZ292LmNvbQ== or (970) 416-2836.