New School Resource Officer Tony Laurenzo has been recently assigned to provide support to OH staff and students. As an SRO, Laurenzo said he must “handle problems with students that arise, handle work about investigations, and walk around the building.”
SROs are trained to perform three primary roles: a law enforcement officer, a law counselor, and a law-education teacher. To become an SRO, an officer must undergo special training.
However, Laurenzo has expressed that the independence that comes with the job is why he decided to become an SRO. “The challenging aspect of the job? It is very escalated. I don’t have any team members with me, it’s just me in here. That was a challenge I wanted to take on.”
Laurenzo takes several actions in the school environment to assure the safety of students and staff, like making arrests when needed, responding to service calls, and documenting incidents that occur within his jurisdiction.
Several people work with Laurenzo, such as staff members, to ensure everything is secure. The deans primarily interact with the SRO throughout the day.
SROs are needed in schools to maintain a safe learning environment and build strong relationships with our school communities. With their presence, the school can avoid situations like physical violence and issues with contraband.
”We have a good working relationship; he is very reliable,” said an OHS Dean Assistant who works with Laurenzo.
SROs were originally introduced to SD308 schools in 2019. At the time, it started with 13 officers covering district schools.
This program began as a part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Service program. It was first acknowledged in the 1950s but wasn’t widespread until the 1990s. At this point, the country started to make it more common for SROs to be at schools.The program was developed to assist school administrations in maintaining safe and secure school environments. Having SROs allows the administration to benefit from their knowledge, training, and experience.