August 21, 2018 Contact Information:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Kevin G. Null, County Administrator
GARRETT COUNTY COMMISSIONERS APPROVE ADDITIONAL SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS
The Board of County Commissioners of Garrett County recently approved three new School Resource Officers (SRO’s) for the Garrett County Sheriff’s Department.
The new SRO positions will bring the total to six SRO’s serving the Garrett County Public Schools. “A SRO, by federal definition, is a career law enforcement officer with sworn authority who is deployed (to a school) by an employing police department,” according to the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO).
Sheriff Corley stated that The Maryland General Assembly passed Senate Bill 1265, known as the Maryland Safe to Learn Act of 2018, in April and requires all public schools to have either an SRO assigned to them or adequate law enforcement coverage by the 2019-2020 school year. “This Board of County Commissioners is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for each of our students and we support the recommendations of Sheriff Corley, and the request of Superintendent Baker, in approving these new positions,” said Commissioner Edwards.
It will take almost a year to hire and train a Deputy for the SRO position said Sheriff Corley. “Thanks to the commitment from the Commissioners we can hire and place deputies in the police training academy this year in preparation to have additional SRO’s available for the 2019-2020 school year”.
The Garrett County Sheriff’s Department School Resource Officer program was started in 2013/2014 school year. The SRO’s are primarily responsible for working within the school system to build positive relationships between students, faculty, and the police while enforcing the laws promoting a safe and drug free environment. Motivation to work with youth along with the ability to gain the respect of students while holding them accountable for their actions are required traits of the officers assigned to these positions.
The School Resource Officers will serve as a resource throughout the school system and will be required to perform the functions of law enforcement officer, educator, and counselor while becoming an integral member of the school community.