Mayor John R. Rooff


1. Briefly describe the structure of your program.

The Waterloo Police Department operates the largest School Resource Officer Program in the upper mid-west. Six officers and a sergeant are assigned full-time to the four intermediate schools and two major high schools of the City of Waterloo. These officers have co-lateral responsibilities into the elementary schools that feed into the intermediate schools as well as the two private and six parochial schools of the city.

The officers are assigned to the investigations division of the police department. Their sergeant reports to the Captain of Investigations, who in-turn, reports directly to the Chief of Police.

The officers each have an office in their assigned school and while in the school building, they take direction from the principal of the school regarding school district policies and procedures.

2. When was the program created and why?

The program was created in the summer of 1990 and went active starting in summer 1990. It was formed initially to teach D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) and to provide officers as positive role models for the intermediate level students. The School Resource Officers still teach D.A.R.E. to every single sixth grade student in the city.

3. How do you measure the programís effectiveness

The programís effectiveness has been measured subjectively by the students and their parents response to the presence of the officers in their schools and the positive impact they have had. The University of Northern Iowa, located next to Waterloo, has supplied student interns to conduct studies on the effectiveness of the program. These student intern studies have shown the program to be among the most popular government programs in the Cedar Valley.

4. How is the program financed?

The program is financed three ways. First, the salaries of the officers and their equipment is included within the basic police department budget salary line item. The police department is almost exclusively funded by local property taxes. Second, each public, private and parochial school has agreed to pay a fee for the program to the city.

Traditionally, the schools have used grant funds received for drug free schools from the state for these programs. Third, each school conducts fund raising events to supplement the revenue from the school system. The total revenue for the program is $111,000.00.

5. How is the community involved in the program, if at allHow has the community responded to the program?

The community is deeply involved and strongly supports the program. An advisory committee of school administrators, police personnel and school parent-teach association (PTA) representatives meet to review the program and discuss ways to modify and improve it.

6. Contact persons:

Contact persons are Mayor John R. Rooff; Chief of Police Bernal F. Koehrsen, Jr.; or Sergeant Ann Meyer, School Resource Program Coordinator. Phone is 319-291-4339. Fax number is 319-291-4286. Mailing address is 715 Mulberry Street, Waterloo, Iowa 50703.

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The United States Conference of Mayors

J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
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