School Resource Officer Unit
The Hall County Sheriff's Office School Resource Officer Unit offers proactive strategies to enhance protective factors for young people, dedicating 18 deputies to the school services unit. Thirteen of those officers are assigned as School Resource Officers (SRO) at our 6 middle schools and 6 high schools. The 5 remaining officers facilitate the A.D.V.A.N.C.E. (Avoiding Drugs, Violence, and Negative Choices Early) program to 5th graders at our 19 elementary schools.
Sheriff's Office School Resource Officer Unit deputies are heavily involved in organizing and teaching the course, which is just a part of their duties when school is out for the summer. Deputies use classroom time, behind the wheel golf cart exercises and even give students some basic vehicle maintenance training. Online registration for the wildly popular program begins at 12 a.m. on January 1 of each year, and classes fill up quickly.
School Resource Officer (SRO)
The term "School Resource Officer" (SRO) refers to officers who apply a community policing philosophy within a school environment. The school is their permanent "beat," and SROs pursue a personal relationship with the citizens of their beat. They patrol and provide a policing function, they are proactive and attempt to solve problems, and they act in partnership with the school community.
School Resource Officers are trained to fulfill 3 primary roles. First and foremost, they are law enforcement officers whose main purpose is to "keep the peace" in their schools so students can learn. Second, they are law-related counselors who provide guidance and information to students, their families, and school staff while acting as links to support services both inside and outside the school environment. And thirdly, they are law-related educators who provide the schools with an additional resource by sharing their expertise in the classroom.
The SRO program serves as a way to open the lines of communication between the school system and the Sheriff's Office, which enables us to address a wide range of issues in schools such as violence, drug abuse, and any other problem for which there is mutual concern among school administration and law enforcement. The SRO program serves as a source of feedback for the Sheriff's Office to help better understand the fears and concerns of the community's youth, which in turn enables the development of problem solving efforts.