WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – This week, we’re featuring different areas of how you can prepare to go back to school. Today focuses on student safety in schools.
Lieutenant Chris Smith, Commander of New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office SRO’s (School Resource Officers), leads a team of officers who interact with students daily.
There are currently 45 full-time SRO’s in New Hanover County Schools along with four Wilmington Police Officers that assist with high schools and middle schools in the City of Wilmington.
School Resource Officers operate based on the SRO Triad Model: Protect, mentor and educate. SRO’s are at schools to protect the students, campus and staff; educate and engage students; and mentor them, especially at the high school level.
At the elementary level, Lt. Smith says the SRO’s try to emphasize the aspect of community policing by building relationships with students and their families, so that they are more comfortable around law enforcement.
Lt. Smith says that, thanks to the SRO program, students become more comfortable engaging with officers both in and out of school.
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