The Livermore Police Department School Resource Officer (SRO) program was developed to address juvenile crime and safety concerns in our local schools.
The SRO program places a police officer on campus at the schools where they are more accessible for both school administrators and students alike. LPD has two SRO’s, who are assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division. The SRO’s are each assigned a separate public high school. They share responsibility for the continuation high school, and handle the more serious offenses at the middle schools. They are routinely used as a resource within the school district for questions related to CPS issues, juvenile law, substance abuse, and school safety.
While at their assigned schools, the SRO’s commonly handle situations involving fights, theft, criminal bullying, truancy, trespassers, psychiatric detentions, identification of gang members, and school policy violations. The SRO’s also provide staff training in regards to gang trends, drug trends, CPS updates, and other general information as necessary. The SRO’s are assigned to attend all of the football games and school dances, as well as wrestling matches and basketball games as necessary to ensure safety at large sporting events. SRO’s routinely attend expulsion hearings to ensure appropriate action is taken.
The SRO duties are currently split between spending time at the schools and investigating complaints of child abuse/neglect as well as missing or runaway juveniles. In addition, they act as a liaison between patrol officers and the schools. The SRO’s coordinate efforts to reduce drugs and violence on campus by working with Gang Officers and Police K9 officers to conduct drug “sniffs” in the parking lot, locker rooms, classrooms, etc. The SRO’s also make recommendations for action on all juvenile arrests, except those transported directly to juvenile hall. They determine, based on LPD Policy, whether a particular case is sent to juvenile probation or referred to diversion/counseling.
The SRO's attend numerous meetings including, Youth Court, Juvenile Probation, vice principal / CWA, and the Hate Crime Coalition meetings. They are also involved in the “Every 15 Minutes”, Parent Project, Citizen’s Academy, and the Youth Academy. The SRO’s provide the occasional presentation for the Boy Scouts, Eagle Scouts, and Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni presentations. They have a close working relationship with Horizon’s Family Counseling, Youth Court, Axis health, and other juvenile related programs as well as Tracy PD, Dublin PD, and Pleasanton PD SRO’s.
When a crime is brought to the attention of the SRO or school staff, it is investigated. A large part of the investigation process involves interviewing victims, witnesses, and possible suspects. Students may be called out of class in order to accomplish this in a timely and efficient manner. In some cases, the SRO may contact a student at home.
No. Livermore schools have fewer problems than many schools in other areas. Unfortunately, crimes, drug use, and other problems needing intervention do occur. Placing officers on campus was done as a proactive move to have campus policing handled by officers who regularly work closely with the staff and students. The schools are their "beat." Many police departments throughout the nation have SRO programs. The SRO's work during school hours and are expected to respond to police calls at any school in the District. They are mobile and may be at different campuses from time to time.
Like other police officers, SRO's wear a standard police uniform and are armed. The uniform makes the officer instantly recognizable as a law enforcement officer, which is important when intervening in emergencies. Also, one of the SRO program's goals is that students become more comfortable about the presence of a regular uniformed police officer.
Officers are required to notify parents only after they have arrested a juvenile. Several students may be interviewed during an investigation, and there is no requirement to notify parents each time this occurs. As a matter of routine, parents are notified when a student is involved in a serious matter or there is some other concern the parent should be aware of. School district policy is that school staff will attempt to notify parents either prior to or during an administrative interview that school staff (not the SRO) is conducting.
The first step would be to call the SRO directly. Most concerns can be addressed by discussing them with the SRO responsible for the campus or who handled the case. The SRO's are very willing to address any questions or concerns parents have about a case their son or daughter is involved in. If you feel your concern needs to be addressed to the SRO supervisor, contact the SRO Sergeant at 371-4733.