It is the desire of the Scottsdale Police Department that the School Resource Officers, teachers and staff work together concerning all law enforcement issues to provide a safe and productive educational environment for the youth of our community. Ultimately, the School Resource Officers will uphold the Scottsdale Police Department’s core values of excellence, initiative, and integrity to ensure the best possible law enforcement services are provided to the students, teachers and staffs of our educational facilities. SUSD will continue to work diligently to provide a safe and productive educational environment for our students. If you would like to contact the SRO at one of our schools please contact the schools front office.
The Scottsdale Police Department’s School Resource Officer (SRO) Unit is designed to provide law enforcement services and law related education to the schools of the Scottsdale Unified School District. The unit members also act as liaisons between the schools, the community and the police department as well as various agencies such as Child Protective Services, Youth and Family Services, The Juvenile Probation Department, and other intervention and counseling resources.
The unit is currently comprised of ten (10) officers and two sergeants. Combined, the unit provides law enforcement coverage to over thirty-one SUSD schools, approximately 25,000 students and 3,000 staff members. Presently, every high school has a School Resource Officer (SRO) permanently assigned to it. Middle and Elementary schools are provided service on a part time or as needed basis with a total of four (4) officers serving this population.
“School Resource Officer” is a prestigious and highly competed for title within the Scottsdale Police Department. Each officer that is selected to join the unit has a minimum of three years of law enforcement experience prior to applying for participation in the unit testing process. The combined professional work experience within the unit is very diverse and currently includes personnel who have worked as patrol officers, violent crimes detectives, property crimes detectives, narcotics detectives, gang and youth detectives, and Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) operators and negotiators. Officers within the unit can achieve a “Uniformed Detective” status by voluntarily taking and passing the Scottsdale Police Department’s General Detective Exam. Each officer is also a certified bicycle patrol specialist. All of the Scottsdale School Resource Officers pledge to demonstrate a high level of professionalism and dedicate themselves to the School Resource Officer Program and the youth of our community.
All of the Scottsdale Police Department’s SROs are sworn peace officers. They are certified by the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board. As such, the SROs possess the same authority and powers of arrest as any other state or local law enforcement official regardless of whether they are on or off school property.
A police officer’s duties and responsibilities are multi-faceted and complex regardless of their assignment. Any attempt to specifically list every obligation and task would be incomplete and problematic. The following outline is meant to be a guide that reflects the “philosophy” of the Scottsdale Police Department’s School Resource Officer Program. The program is based on the premise that the SRO serve the following four basic functions:
Law Enforcement Officer:
The SRO’s primary role on campus is that of a law enforcement officer. They will enforce all applicable laws in a fair and consistent manner. The SRO will document and conduct the preliminary investigation for all crimes, which occur on school campuses or from portal to portal. The SRO can document and conduct preliminary investigations for other crimes off campus that may have a direct affect on a student or the school community.
Under most circumstances, the SRO will be designated as the “case officer” for all school related crimes. This means the SRO will then complete the investigation and all the necessary follow-up. This may include the collection of evidence, and interviewing victims, witnesses and suspects. When necessary, the SRO may arrest, detain and or hold suspects in-custody as prescribed by law and department policy.
Some serious crimes require specialized expertise or logistical support to investigate. Under these circumstances an appropriate detective will be assigned as the case officer. The SRO will then assist the detective, and function as the liaison between the victim, the school staff, and the police department.
The SRO can address parking and traffic concerns that affect the school and surrounding community. The SRO may conduct and or coordinate traffic enforcement details to encourage compliance with state and local traffic laws.
The SRO will coordinate with school staff to promote crime prevention programs and enhance the police/community relationship with the surrounding neighborhoods. This may be accomplished through foot, bicycle and vehicle patrol of the school grounds and adjacent areas.
The SRO will coordinate with school staff to document and address truancy issues. This will be accomplished through the enforcement of truancy laws, student and parent education on the topic, and truancy prevention programs such as “Courts Unified Truancy Suppression” (CUTS).
As a teacher the SRO can present a diverse curriculum in the area of Law Related Education (LRE) to the students, parents and the staff. LRE includes classes in the areas of personal safety, wellness, drug prevention, and criminal and traffic law. Specific age appropriate classes such as “Second Step”, “Students Against a Violent Environment” (SAVE), and “Respect”, all emphasize anti-violence campaigns and educate students in reference to proper conflict resolution techniques.
As a counselor the SRO can act as an advisor, mentor and mediator to students, parents and staff. They use their professional experience to counsel and educate people on law related issues. When a higher level of expertise is required, the SRO can refer the person seeking aid or guidance to the appropriate agency or resource.
As a role model the SRO is compelled to always present themselves in a professional manner. Through their appearance and actions, the SRO leads by example through their day-to-day contact with students, parents and staff members. They treat everyone in a positive manner that is respectful, fair and consistent regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or socio-economic status.
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