July 21, 2003 - Posted at: 9:54 p.m. CDT
TRUMANN, Ark.-- A Special Resource Officer can be one of the most positive combatants of youth crime and victimization that take place in our school systems.
The National Association of School Resource Officers provides SRO certification courses designed to show new and current SRO's how to build a solid rapport and be more affective in their school systems.
On Monday, fifteen school resource officers from around Arkansas attended a certification course in Trumann.
"Nationally, NARSO is the largest base training group for school resource officers," said NARSO Regional Director Bill Hill. "We have over twelve thousand members currently with the NARSO, and we do over sixteen hundred training classes around the nation."
In each forty hour NARSO course, SRO's learn how to be a better law enforcement officer and advisor on their campus.
"The program really has three main goals," said Hill. "Keeping our schools a safe environment, bridging a gap between law enforcement and youth, and hopefully by doing that, we can reduce juvenile delinquency."
Officer Jonathan Skaggs has been the Trumann Junior and Senior High SRO for the past two years. Skaggs says the NARSO course has given him a better understanding of his job.
"It helps break down the barriers between teenagers and the police," said Skaggs.
Along with the SRO course, a NARSO management course offers school administrators and SRO supervisors ways to better address program funding and crisis planning.