School Resource Officers serve as counselors, role models, and advocates for students, families, faculty, and staff, while bringing security to Novato school campuses. School Resource Officers are a recognized and approachable resource for students and faculty during and after school, at school events, and during investigations that have a tie to school campuses and activities. This program will allow for School Resource Officers to be on campus five days a week, during the academic school year. By working closely with the students, SROs are able to build rapport with them and are often more approachable than other law enforcement officers, become a resource for questions and advice and help develop positive attitudes. SROs work with teachers, parents and school staff to share responsibilities for crafting solutions to problems other than arrest.
In addition to being available on campus to quickly respond to emergency situations, SROs are a valuable resource for students, parents, teachers and administration regarding law enforcement related issues. Enforcement is not the expectation of the School Resource Officers, in fact the main objective is to help the student avoid the criminal justice system by employing the principles of restorative justice. School Resource Officers will heavily focus in the area of prevention. On any given day you might find the officers giving presentations in a classroom or meeting and talking to students in the hallways. You will also find them during athletic events and school lunches. The SRO’s will make referrals and connect to students in programs outside the school such as Camp Chance and the Squires Program.
The School Resource Officer position is an integral part of building trust and relationships with our students and parents and will provide additional security for our school campuses. Our officers will work as a team with Novato Unified School Staff using industry best practices to triage issues on campus. Using the principles of restorative justice, the SRO program aims to connect youth with services and provide an opportunity for youth to learn from mistakes rather than be penalized for them. The officers will be a consistent face of the department on campus and have an opportunity to build relationships with the students to break down the barriers between law enforcement and our community. The City of Novato and the Novato Unified School District are committed to the safety of all students, staff and faculty and hope to build lasting relationships with all on campus, especially students.