Sheriff Pleased with Expanded SRO Program

June 14, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Sheriff Patrick Ray
Sheriff Ray with SRO Officers

Having completed the first year of the expanded School Resource Officer Program, Sheriff Patrick Ray is pleased with the results and believes it has been a positive influence among students

"It has been a busy year for the School Resource Officers. The SROs have met with many students and parents this past school year. From what I have seen this school year, I believe the SROs are a positive example for our children. In the past, I witnessed children, especially children at the elementary school level who had a fear of law enforcement officers. During this school year, I have visited with all of the schools and watched the children interacting with the SROs. This is a great thing when children can talk with law enforcement officers and feel protected while they are attending school. I am proud the DeKalb County Commission, the DeKalb County School System, and the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department can all see the importance of the School Resource Officer Program and what benefits it can obtain from having it in our school system," said Sheriff Ray in a prepared statement emailed to WJLE.

Prior to the 2013-14 fiscal year, the county had been funding only one School Resource Officer and that was for the high school. The other four schools in the county had never had an SRO.

Last July when the county commission adopted the budget for 2013-14, funding was included in the county general spending plan for two of the new School Resource Officers (salaries and benefits) while the other two new SRO's (salaries and benefits) were to be paid for out of the school budget. Money to equip and train all four new SRO officers was added to the county general budget and the four extra used patrol cars for the officers were paid for out of the county general's capital projects fund. The officers were hired by the sheriff and work out of his department.

The SRO officers assigned at the beginning of the school year were Officer Terry Cowart, Jr. at Smithville Elementary School, Officer Roger Whitehead at Northside Elementary School, Officer Chris McMillen at DeKalb Middle School, Officer Kenneth Whitehead at DeKalb County High School, and Officer Lewis Carrick at DeKalb West School. The SROs were new to all schools except DCHS where officer Kenneth Whitehead has worked as an SRO for several years.

The following is a list of some of the SRO's activities this school year:

DeKalb West:
Assist Deputies-8
Advisory Sessions with Students-35
Advisory Sessions with Parents-12
Advisory Sessions with Teachers or Staff-12
Classroom Lectures-10
Special School Events (Ballgames, meetings, etc)-140
Meetings attended-2
Offense Reports-3
Juvenile Activity Reports-4
Vandalism Incidents-1
Conflict Reslutions-15
Court Appearances-1

Smithville Elementary:
Assist Deputies-14
Advisory Sessions with Students-420
Advisory Sessions with Parents-59
Advisory Sessions with Teachers or Staff-167
Meetings attended-14
Offense Reports-1
Classroom Lectures-98
Medical Assists-11
Motorist Assists-35
Special School Events (Ballgames, meetings, etc)-167

Northside Elementary:
Juvenile Petitions and Citations-7
Court Appearances-5
Assist Deputies-20
Advisory Sessions with Students-455
Advisory Sessions with Parents-19
Advisory Sessions with Teachers or Staff-500
Classroom Lectures-45
Special School Events (Ballgames, meetings, etc.)-51
Medical Assists-2
Motorist Assists-6

DeKalb Middle School:
Juvenile Petitions and Citations-12
Assist Deputies-14
Advisory Sessions with Students-291
Advisory Sessions with Parents-55
Advisory Sessions with Teachers or Staff-78
Advisory Sessions with Public-6
Classroom Lectures-12
Special School Events (Ballgames, meetings, etc.)-53
Meetings attended-2
Offense Reports-3
Juvenile Activity Reports-4
Vandalism Incidents-1

DeKalb County High School:
Juvenile Petitions and Citations-35
Assist Deputies-56
Advisory Sessions with Students-515
Advisory Sessions with Parents-95
Advisory Sessions with Teachers or Staff-228
Advisory Sessions with Public-21
Classroom Lectures-40
Special School Events (Ballgames, meetings, etc.)-61
Medical Assists-3
Motorist Assists-25

BOTTOM PHOTO: Left to Right: Officers Lewis Carrick, Terry Cowart, Jr. Roger Whitehead, Chris McMillan, Kenneth Whitehead, and Sheriff Patrick Ray)

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