School Resource Officers and the role they play in Prevention by Officer Joseph Buchheit
Updated: Jan 29
Recognizing that local problems need local solutions, the Smithville CIA seeks to mobilizing the entire community— youth, parents, teachers, police, reporters, extra-curricular instructors, health care providers, faith communities, business professionals, civic leaders, government representatives, and other Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug providers. We know that strategically aligning not only the “movers and shakers,” but also the “grassroots” folks who have strong links within neighborhoods and informal institutions reduce substance abuse among youth and, over time, among adults by addressing the factors in a community that increase the risk of substance abuse and promoting the factors that minimize the risk of substance abuse.
In January we are pleased to highlight our law enforcement officers. Officer Joseph Buccheit tells us how Student Resource Officers play a vital role in prevention work with community youth.
A school resource officer in short has to be many things. They are educators, informal counselors or mentors, and of course law enforcement officer. The goal of a well-established SRO program includes providing safe learning environments, providing valuable resources to school staff and members, fostering positive relationships with students, developing strategies to resolve problems affecting youth, and protecting all students so they can reach their fullest potentials. An SRO plays a vital role in youth substance abuse prevention as they can see firsthand current trends in youth substance abuse and if strategies for prevention are effective. SRO’s help to educate youth on the dangers of substance abuse through different programs including both in classroom lectures and interactive events throughout the year. An SRO has an advantage of building positive relationships with their students and may have insight through other law enforcement officers as to issues outside of school, to establish underlying issues that cause youth to turn to substance abuse. This information can help to create a specific plan for that youth or to provide resources to that youth and their family. School resource officers attempt to affect youth substance abuse through indirect means as well through being a positive role model and our presence within the schools.