CITY OF OMAHA,
SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER PROGRAM
1. Briefly describe the structure of your program.
The School Resource Officer (SRO) Program serves two area school districts. In January of 1995, a SRO Program was established between the Omaha Police Department (OPD) and the Westside School District. This program is designed for a full-time uniformed officer to work in Westside High School part-time and to teach a drug prevention curriculum at selected Westside elementary schools.
In December of l995, OPD established a SRO Program with the Omaha Public Schools. This program put a full-time uniformed officer in North and South High Schools. The two high schools are in the weed-and-seed area.
2. When was the program created and why?
The programs were instituted in January and December of l995. The SRO Program at Westside was developed as an attempt to be proactive by providing citizenship and other valuable training to the young people. The Omaha Public Schools SRO Program was designed as part of the weed and seed strategy. The SRO was part of the seed strategy whereby efforts are made to put programs in place to help revitalize the area.
3. How do you measure the program’s effectiveness?
The programs are measured, primarily, by the number of student conferences, faculty staff assistance, classroom presentations, assistance to other agencies, assistance to uniform patrol bureau or detective bureau and truancy interaction.
SRO’s at the three schools average slightly over 20 student conferences per week. They meet or have telephone conferences with parents on average 5.5 times per week. Assistance to faculty members is provided approximately 17 times per week. Classroom teaching accounts for five to six hours of their time in the schools.
Other agencies are assisted by the SRO’s twice weekly. Interaction with other units within the Police Department occur almost daily. Truancy issues arise one to two times per week. Trespassing individuals, report writing and occasional arrests are all part of the SRO’s duties.
4. How is the program financed?
The Westside Community School District officer is financed through the District and OPD. Each organization pays 50 per cent of the officer’s salary and benefits.
The Omaha Public School District (OPS) officers were initially funded at 100 per cent by the Weed and Seed grants. In the l996 - l997 school year, it was funded by OPS 50 per cent and Weed and Seed, 50 per cent. It has been funded 50 per cent OPS and 50 per cent OPD since the l997 - l998 school year.
5. How is the community involved in the program, if at all. How has the community
responded to the program?
The surrounding community of each school is involved through meetings with the SRO and the school staff designed to address concerns that the community might have. The SRO’s work with neighbors of the school to address specific complaints. The neighbors of each school are generally happy to have a forum to voice their concerns and see positive results.
6. Contact person:
The United States Conference of Mayors
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
Copyright © 1999, US Conference of Mayors, All rights reserved.