Saturday, June 5, 2010

Off Campus Criminal Activity & Evidence Can Come into Schools: Need for SROs

There is an unfortunate story about a 16 yr old New Milford High School sophomore who is alleged to have broken into a 25 yr old woman's home, strangled her into unconsciousness, and then sexually assaulted her on Aug 6, 2009. This young man was also connected to other crimes involving  home break-ins. Items from the break-ins were found on this student's possession by his high school School Resource Officer (SRO). This young man will be tried as an adult and will be facing 40 years of incarceration.

Comment:  A school's student population is a microcosm of the society that it comes from. Criminal activity that ocurs in the community and the related criminal evidence can spill over into your school. Violence, drugs, weapons, gangs, domestic issues, child abuse, and other criminal activities can enter and occur in your school community. There is a distinct difference between having law enforcement come to your school versus having a School Resource Officer (SRO) permanently assigned to your school. A SRO builds the habitual relationships with the students and staff, understands the school's atmospherics and environmentals, and can enable on scene crime prevention and if required intervention immediately. SROs are trained in search and seizure, probable cause, and evidentiary control and procedures. Lastly, SROs are the only legally armed individual working in the school who possesses the means to use deadly force, if required, to protect innocent lives.

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