School Resource Officers
The Garland Police Department’s School Resource Officers (SRO) program began in August 1992 with nine School Resource Officers and one Lieutenant. Initially, the program provided one police officer in each of Garland’s high schools, two officers sharing four middle schools, and the remaining two officers sharing 33 elementary schools.
In July 1993, ten additional police officers and one civilian clerk were added to the program increasing the total to 19 School Resource Officers. This allowed an officer to be assigned to each middle school and increased the elementary school coverage to four officers sharing the 33 elementary schools.
Duties & Responsibilities
- The SRO is a Garland Police Officer first and is sworn to uphold the law. The SRO is not a school disciplinarian and will only take action when there is a violation of the law. School discipline is the responsibility of the school administrator.
- The SRO and the school principal will formulate plans and strategies to prevent and/or minimize dangerous situations which might occur on campus.
- The SRO will take action against trespassers or unwanted guests at the request of the principal or other school officials
- The SRO is not the "truant officer." The school principal is responsible for filing truancy cases; however, the SRO may transport truants back to school or to another appropriate facility.
- The SRO will participate in extracurricular and other official school activities.
- The SRO will be present for "Weapons Screenings" when requested by school personnel.
The Garland Police Department SRO Program is jointly funded by the City of Garland and the Garland Independent School District (GISD). The salary and benefits for officers assigned to the SRO Program are shared equally between the City and the GISD. The City and the GISD have entered into a formal annual contract to provide the SRO Program for the benefit of the students and the city as a whole.
The Garland Police Department’s SRO Program is based on the "Triad Concept" in which the SRO is an Educator, Counselor, and Law Enforcement Officer.
The SRO is always available to the students, parents, and faculty in their school to be an "Active Listener." The SRO is not normally a state licensed counselor, but has a wealth of experience and expertise and can make referrals to many formal counseling services within the community. The SRO must be prepared to discuss a wide range of topics in his/her role as a counselor:
- Accidental Deaths
- Alcohol and its Effects
- Auto Accidents
- Capital Punishment
- Drug Abuse
- Family Relations
- Gang Violence
- Gun Control and Safety
- Hate Groups
- Inhalant Abuse
- Leaving Home / Runaways
- Police Abuse of Authority
- Protective Orders / Peace Bonds
- Sexual Harassment
- Student Relations
- Student Safety
The SRO makes classroom presentations that are tailored to each grade level:
- Alcohol and Driving While Influenced
- Arrest Procedures and the Court System
- Careers In Law Enforcement
- Child and Family Laws
- Drugs and the Law
- General Question and Answer Sessions
- Introduction to the SRO Program
- Personal Safety and Self Protection
- Search and Seizure Law
- Theft and Robbery
The SRO also makes presentations to Faculty and Staff, Administrators, PTA, and community service organizations.
The SRO always strives to be proactive and not just simply reactive. The SRO must remember that he/she is a role model, not just for the students but for the community.
The SRO may enforce laws from various sources:
- City of Garland Code of Ordinances
- Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code
- Texas Education Code
- Texas Family Code
- Texas Health and Safety Code
- Texas Penal Code
- Texas Transportation Code
The SRO may be the first responder to on-campus emergency situations:
- Injured or sick persons
- Man-made disasters - bombs, fire
- Natural disasters - tornado, flooding
- Suicidal persons
- Violent situations - armed persons, assaults
The SRO collects information and maintains statistical records:
- Crimes, investigations, and arrests
- Gang / Group activity
- Narcotics activity
The SRO is also the Crime Prevention Officer for his/her campus:
- Locate and eliminate crime risks
- Teach crime prevention techniques to students and faculty