School Resource Officer Grant
We are excited to announce the district has just received a Tobacco Law Enforcement Grant Program for over half a million dollars to fund a District School Resource Officer (SRO) for the next two years!
The SRO will be responsible for providing tobacco-use prevention education, assisting with security and safety plans, conducting site assessments and drills, and acting as a liaison between the school district and the Monterey County Sheriff's Department and other first responders, especially in times of emergency. The SRO will not be in a disciplinary role; that responsibility will remain with school and district administrators. We will be providing more information to parents as fall approaches but some background information can be found at https://nasro.org/frequently-asked-questions/ if you are interested in learning more at this time.
Some of you may be aware that we had a successful School Resource Officer program in the past until the funding ran out. The idea of a school resource officer resurfaced in discussions over this past year at the Superintendent’s Community Advisory Council meetings and School Board meetings. The focus of these discussions has been on the improvements in student safety that an SRO can bring to our schools. When this eleventh-hour grant opportunity came up in May, we accelerated our timeline to make application for this funding. We received letters of supportive endorsement from Monterey County Sheriff Steve Bernal and Congressman Jimmy Panetta which enhanced our application.
We will be working with the Sheriff's Department over the summer to select an officer who has the right qualities to fit within the school setting. We know the success of an SRO is built on relationships, and we want to find an individual who relates well to students. Once selected, the officer will receive specialized training. We hope to have the new person in place at the start of the upcoming school year.
We are pleased to add this new resource to our district and look forward to bringing the expertise of a peace officer to our school sites.