School Resource Officers
About the Program
School Resource Officers (SROs) have increasingly become a part of school districts in California. The first programs began in the 1960s and have gained in popularity since. In November 2005, the El Cerrito Police Department began their School Resource Officer program in earnest with the appointment of an officer to the El Cerrito High School Campus. The department found that the officer made a difference on campus and currently there are two SROs, one at the high school and one at the middle school.
SROs receive the same training and as normal police officers. In fact, all of El Cerrito's SROs are regular police officers who applied to the position because they wanted to make a difference in the lives of the students that attend school in El Cerrito. SROs receive specialized training in issues that are specific to enforcing laws on school campuses and work at the schools for periods of two to four years before rotating into other law enforcement assignments.
One of the primary goals of the SRO program is to provide positive interactions with police officers during the formative years of middle and high school. SROs routinely address students' questions regarding civil rights, criminal law, and citizenship. In addition, they also work to foster a safe learning and teaching environment. They are the first line of contact for many parents and students in El Cerrito Schools.
El Cerrito Police Department SROs interact with a population of over 2,000 students and 100 staff at the two school sites. One of the current focuses of the SRO program in El Cerrito is juvenile criminal activity during school hours. The Police Department and El Cerrito City Council have recognized the need for specific attention to address this growing concern. Like most cities in Contra Costa County, the City Council enacted order #2010-02 in February of 2010. SROs spend a portion of their work day locating and identifying truant students and referring continued attendance issues to school administration. Officers from both schools also participate in a district wide truancy sweep which occurs several times throughout the school year.
They also work directly with the school administrators and other safety personnel to develop a unique safety plan for each school site. SROs may provide presentations, attend safety meetings, and assist in the coordination of safety training such as fire drills.
SRO Contact Information
Email Officer Perales