School Resource Officer
The South Hadley Police Department established the School Resource Officer position in the fall of 2000. The School Resource Officer (SRO) is a veteran sworn police officer and a member of the Detective Bureau of the police department. The SRO is assigned to all of the South Hadley Public Schools and works out of the South Hadley High School, serving a population of over 2,300 students and their families, as well as the staff, faculty and administration of each building.
Officer Steven Fleming is the SRO for the South Hadley High School and the Plains Elementary School. Officer Doug Percy is the SRO for the Michael E. Smith Middle School and the Mosier Elementary School.
The SRO serves as teacher, counselor, role model, and advocate for students, families, faculty, and staff. The SRO is not the school disciplinarian, nor does he supplant any other staff function. The SRO brings full service, personalized policing to an important segment of our community. With a full-time presence in the schools, he / she is an easily recognized and approachable resource for students. In the classroom, the SRO presents classes on topics such as the history of law enforcement, search and seizure, constitutional rights, criminal law, and drug abuse.
The School Resource Officer's duties extend far beyond the classroom and normal work day. The officer participates in PTA and faculty meetings, club projects, student social functions and sporting events. The SRO's presence demonstrates the officer's commitment to the students and tends to strengthen the student / police bond. This also demonstrates the Police Department's willingness to go beyond the normal tour of duty for the safety and interest of the students.
The ultimate goal of an SRO program is to maintain and improve the safety of the learning environment in our schools through the reduction and prevention of school violence and drug abuse.
While the SRO's primary focus is prevention and deterrence, the SRO conducts all criminal investigations on campus, coordinating his activities with the building administrator. Although under the direct supervision of the Police Department, the SRO is also considered a member of the school faculty and as such, works closely with the principal and vice-principal to determine the best course of action.