CITY OF ROCK
SCHOOL VIOLENCE PREVENTION
SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS PROGRAM
Designed to place a Police Officer in every Middle School and High School within the city of Rock Hill: The Officer acts in a threefold capacity: (1) As a police officer, to provide protection to the staff and students who attend these schools and to enforce the laws of the state on and around these facilities, (2) As a teacher, teaching on topics that are school and law related, teaching on the harmful affects of drugs and gang involvement, (3) To serve as a counselor, to be available to parents who are having problems with their children, to teachers involved with helping students, and to students by helping them make good decisions and helping them get through tough situations.
A partnership between the Rock Hill Police Department and the Rock Hill School District. It provides an alternative environment to students who are having a difficult time in the normal school setting. The Rebound campus is located at the Rock Hill Police Departmentís Worthy Boys & Girls Camp. The campus is 51 acres in a country type setting. The program places a troubled student at the facility for nine weeks. During that time he or she continues in their studies while learning to control their behavior. This program is currently offered to elementary and middle school students.
D.A.R.E. is a national drug prevention program. It was started in Los Angeles, California in 1983. The Rock Hill Police Department has been involved with the D.A.R.E. program for the last nine years. The program is taught by police officers in the 5th grade of the elementary schools. Visitations are made by the officers to all the grades where D.A.R.E. is taught. It helps the students see the officer in a different light and more on a personal level.
The School Safety Patrol Program is designed to protect those students walking to and from school. Fifth grade students assist in helping students and parents in the areas of crosswalks and student dropoffs. These students are provided with safety vests and handheld stop signs and helmets to help them with stopping traffic and assisting the students to school. A police officer meets every week with the students who participate in the program.
Students Against Violence Everywhere. A program introduced to the Rock Hill Schools in 1993, it is made up of students of the school who provide a year long plan to help reduce the violence on the schoolís campus. The School Resource Officer acts as club sponsor along with one other staff member. The club also sponsors one annual event to raise awareness to school violence.
CITY WIDE CURFEW
Our city government started a curfew law about two years ago. It affects those 16 years of age and younger. The curfew is year round. Curfew begins at 11:00 PM and is through 6:00 AM. during the school year and 12:00 PM through 6:00 AM during the summer. This year our Department is looking into the possibility of extending the curfew to the school daytime hours. By doing this, we hope to keep the students either in school or at home, hoping that this will reduce juvenile crime during school hours by those who are cutting school or have been expelled from school.
Northwestern High School
These are some the ideas that have been implemented at the high school to help reduce violence and crime on our campus. The Rock Hill Police Department has had an Officer assigned to the high school since the Spring of 1993. A partnership was formed between the Rock Hill School District #3 and this Department to better serve those who work and visit the campus of Northwestern High School. Since 1993 many changes have been made to improve school safety.
1. Having a uniformed police officer on campus with a marked police car. This in itself has helped deter many problems that might have occurred on campus or come onto campus. The students and staff know that he is there and is trained to handle any situation that may arise on campus. The officer travels with school organizations and sports teams to provide security off campus as well as on campus. The officer attends many of the functions put on by the students and staff at the school and is seen as a member of the staff and not just a police officer.
2. School Emergency Plan is in place to help protect the students and staff in the event of an emergency. Teachers are trained on how to respond to certain signals and what to do. This plan has three different stages to address different levels of a situation.
3. A school radio system is used by many schools in the area. At Northwestern High School, the radio is a very important piece of equipment, used by the staff and the resource officer to tract the studentsí movements and also alert those parties of visitors on campus.
4. A visitor on campus must check in with the school office and obtain a visitorís name tag. This identifies the visitor and helps the staff keep track of those people visiting the school.
5. Closed Circuit TV. This is a system that is now being studied by the school to better monitor those coming onto and leaving the campus. The system is seen as an alternative to placing a fence around the campus, which would change the atmosphere of the campus. The system not only would be used during the school hours to monitor parking lots and courtyard areas, but also would be placed in certain classrooms, for example, Special Needs classroom where there is the possibility that a situation may occur. At night after school hours, the system would be used in the area of school security to monitor activity around the campus and protect the school from theft and vandalism.
6. Student hotline. An answering machine and a number that the students and faculty can call into to give the officer information the help keep the campus drug and violence free. Information is left anonymously and is investigated by the officer.
7. Peer Mediation. A school initiated program that helps the students work out their conflicts without turning to violence to settle the dispute. The mediation group is made up of many student s who can be called on whenever the need arises to meet with a student(s). There have been no reports of anyone being involved in a fight or conflict after meeting with the peer mediation group.
8. York County Drug Dog. The York County Sheriffís Department provides a drug dog to the campus of Northwestern High School. The dog and a deputy come to the campus on a random basis and walk the locker and classroom areas of the campus. The dog is also taken to the parking lots and other areas where drug use might occur.
9. Along with these programs and ideas, the State Of South Carolina is very aggressive in the area of school safety. The State has passed laws that help protect the students and staff in the schools, also a law on reporting crime on school campus such as the "No Bully Hotline" in which school crime is reported to the State Attorney Generalís Office. There are laws that require law enforcement to report to the schools of a studentís arrest so that the school is aware of problems coming onto the campus.
10. The Schools Within a School Program was organized as a way to support those students who may need extra guidance in the school atmosphere. This program groups students identified as discipline, attendance or social "problems" and places them with trained educators capable of dealing with their special needs. A full-time aid is a vital link within the classroom as well as outside the school. This SWS program allows staff members to monitor these students who may otherwise create problems in the "normal" school setting.
All the above programs are supported by the community and school district. With the Rock Hill Police Department, the School District and community assist in funding many of these programs and events throughout the year.
Contact person:The City of Rock Hill is willing to assist any Department or Municipality in learning more about these programs. Write or Call Det/Sgt J. Aiton c/o the Rock Hill Police Department, 120 East Black Street, Rock Hill, S.C. 29730 ( 803-329-7214)
The United States Conference of Mayors
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
Copyright © 1999, US Conference of Mayors, All rights reserved.