School Resource Officers

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Shonna Tapper is one parent who says she is glad to have school resource officers on hand come the start of the '08-'09 school year next week.

"I have two older children, and there's a lot of gang related stuff going on in town. We need them there to enforce, and to keep that at a minimum," said Tapper.

Even Sargeant Steve McDaniel of the Jonesboro Police Department says the resource officers make a big difference  on the the kids behavior.

"We think it does make a big impact when officers are seen on campus, and the students knowing that they are there and can help if needed," said McDaniel.

Within Jonesboro this year will be 8 school resource officers.

The Valley View School District will have three, the Nettleton School District will have one, and the Jonesboro School District will have four.

One of the benefits of a school resource officer is they know their campus, whether it be their faculty or the students, but they also know who shouldn't be here, and should an incident happen, they are always the first to respond.

"The officer is already on site. They've been trained, and they are prepared to take care of that incident," said McDaniel.

And for parents like Tapper, should there be a problem-- the officers also provide an outlet for them to turn to as well.

"My 14-year-old has gotten into trouble, where he didn't go and talk to somebody first, but I ended up talking to the S.R.O., and he helped me a lot," said Tapper.

Which is invaluable to parents and students alike.

School resource officers, while being provided by the city, are actually paid for by the individual school districts.

School administrators also decide the number of officers that will be placed within their districts.

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