More than a Badge: The Link Between SRO’s and Student Wellbeing

Over the last 20 years, partnerships between schools and law enforcement has become more common with a primary purpose of protecting the school community from active shooters and other violence. Police officers in schools has cyclically fallen in and out of favour. Federal and state funding supporting law enforcement and school district collaboration as well as recent research demonstrates they are a valuable resource.

In fact, while there is a priority that School Resource Officers (SROs) protect and respond to active threats of violence within the school community they serve, their value extends well beyond violence prevention and mitigation.

SROs provide additional value on a daily basis by integrating into their school community, building relationships, providing teachable moments, and fostering growth and student wellbeing.

On the newest episode of School Safety Today by Raptor Technologies, host Michelle Dawn Mooney, sits down with Heather Norred, Lee County Sheriff’s Deputy and Lee County Schools SRO, to talk about her role as a school resource officer. Norred has served Lee County as a Deputy for over 13 years but has been in law enforcement for over 24 years. She is particularly passionate about her ability to impact student wellbeing and how that influences the overall school culture of safety.

“That’s what I’m here for, is to build relationships with our students so that they have somebody that they can turn to and someone they can talk to,” said Norred.

According to Norred, the key to success with law enforcement and school district collaboration hinges on selecting and training the right law enforcement individuals and supporting their training to work specifically in schools and with students.

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