Our School Resource Officer
The Ballard Community School District maintains an agreement with the City of Huxley to enhance safety measures within our schools. In fall 2023, we welcomed our first School Resource Officer (SRO) to Ballard schools!
Meet Officer Matt
Officer Matt will be present in our school buildings throughout the academic year. Having a dedicated SRO will enable us to respond quickly and effectively to any potential safety concerns or emergencies that may arise within our school community. Officer Matt’s primary role is to foster a safe environment where students can thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.
This collaboration also presents an opportunity for relationship building, proactive interactions with students, and constructive engagement from a non-emergency standpoint. Officer Matt will be actively engaged in our school community, working closely with staff, students, and families to maintain a positive and supportive learning environment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an SRO?
A SRO is a career law enforcement officer assigned in a community policing capacity to a local educational agency. SROs work in collaboration with schools and community-based organizations to provide a positive and visible law enforcement presence on school campuses. SROs have four major roles:
- Law Enforcement: SROs address crime and disorder in and around school campuses. SROs strive to employ non-punitive techniques when interacting with students, using citation and arrest only as a last resort under narrow circumstances.
- Informal Counselor: SROs build relationships with students and act as liaisons to community services for youth and families.
- Educator: SROs teach students about crime prevention and safety, drug awareness, conflict resolution, and other topics related to law enforcement and the legal system.
- Emergency Manager: SROs develop and implement emergency preparedness policies, including comprehensive school safety plans, and coordinate with first responders in an emergency. SROs are integral members of a school threat assessment team.
What are the benefits of a SRO?
School resource officers can provide a variety of benefits not only to schools, but to individual students and local police departments. These benefits include promoting school safety, addressing the root causes of student misbehavior, and decreasing juvenile delinquency petitions where SROs are properly utilized.
Further, SROs can improve relationships between students and law enforcement, serve as protectors for victimized students, and reduce the burden on local law enforcement. Properly utilized SROs can actually help decrease juvenile justice involvement. (source)
Are SROs usually armed?
Yes. A school resource officer is a commissioned, sworn law enforcement officer and carries the same equipment they’d have on any other law enforcement assignment, including routine patrol. (source)
How many SROs are there in the United States?
A 2007 Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) survey by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) found that there were more than 17,000 SROs deployed in public schools nationwide, but the DOJ has not repeated that question since. The National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) estimates that between 14,000 and 20,000 SROs are currently in service nationwide, based on DOJ data and the number of SROs that NASRO has trained. (source)