The SRO program in the Augusta School Department (ASD) is a collaboration between the Augusta Police Department (APD) and the ASD. The SRO is an asset used by the community and the school in an attempt to address situations in the lives of students in a forum other than the judicial system.
It is the policy of the APD to promote a safe and orderly environment in the city’s public Schools.
The SRO program is a nationally accepted program involving the placement of a Law Enforcement Officer within the educational environment. It is designed to provide school administrators and staff with law enforcement resources and expertise so as to maintain safety and order in the school environment. Officer Carly Wiggin, while in school, is involved in a variety of functions aimed at prevention. Besides being an active high profile law enforcement officer, she is a resource for students, parents, teachers and administrators regarding law issues. Another duty for Officer Wiggin is being a link to other service agencies which provide preventive and counseling services within the school district. Working hand in hand with the Principals in each school, SRO Wiggin assists with finding solutions to problems affecting school age children. The SRO does NOT handle school disciplinary issues.
The SRO program is a proactive approach to deal with the pressures today’s young people find themselves having to confront. This includes the use of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco, along with peer pressure, bullying, and sex. These situations are not only in the schools, but in our community as well.
Are our schools so bad we need a school resource officer? This is a question that is common with parents, teachers, and community leaders. The question is easily answered when you ask yourself the following: Would you rather send your child to a school where there is an active Law Enforcement Officer on duty, working closely with the school system, who acts quickly to solve problems?
The ASD and the APD are working together to confront problems our students might face now. By addressing these issues together and proactively, we become increasingly effective. Reviews of national statistics indicate a trend of increase violence and drug use. We want to make a difference with our youth by educating and supporting them now and ensure they all feel safe while attending school. The SRO Program is intended to ensure that no student’s right to receive an education is abridged by violence or disruption.
What does a school resource officer do? One of the most important aspects of the SRO program is the ability of the officer to develop relationships with the students.
The basic outline of duties for the SRO includes investigating crimes that occur within the school and on school property, creating a positive role model for students, creating a link between Law Enforcement and the students, and being a resource for parents, staff, administration, and students in regards to law enforcement and community problems. The SRO is also responsible for monitoring the social and cultural environment to identify emerging youth gangs. Students that have positive interaction with Officer Wiggin view law enforcement in an entirely different light. They see the SRO as a friend, advisor, positive role model, and someone to turn to in time of need. The SRO acts as a deterrent to criminal behavior through positive interactions with students and by his/her presence on the school premises.
Teacher/Trainer- The SRO is available as a guest speaker or as a resource to nearly every classroom with the school department.
- Government and Law- Search & Seizure, Criminal Law, Juvenile Law, Consumer Law, etc.
- Math- Accident Investigation, Computer Crime
- Science- Forensics, DMA Evidence, Ballistics, Accident Investigation
- English- Professional Writing Skills, DUI Awareness, Defensive Driving
- Physical Education/Health- Personal safety, Sexual Assault Awareness, Conflict Resolution, Domestic Violence Awareness
Counselor- The SRO is a resource for both faculty and students and provides informal counseling and/or advice. These officers have received extensive training regarding programs and service available to handle problems and conflicts. Getting the right kind of help to those that need it is one of the SRO’s highest priorities.
Law Enforcer- Any law related issue that arises on campus is the SRO’s responsibility. In many ways, his/her school is not different than any other patrol beat. Whether it is child abuse, truancy, disorderly conduct, theft, or some type of assault, the SRO is there to handle it quickly and professionally. As a Community Police Officer, the SRO is charged with proactively addressing the crimes that occur on campus, both through education and through special projects or programs. Every school is different, so each SRO must tailor his/her projects to both the problem and the school.
Mentoring is the central focus of the program. SROs have the opportunity to form lasting impressions on young people. To help students succeed, the SRO provides guidance, tutoring, and coaching to students they encounter.