School Resource Officer
Officer Eric Milligan, Greater Lawrence Technical School S.R.O.
The School Resource Officer (SRO) Program provides a uniformed police officer to Greater Lawrence Technical School, during school hours. This provides students and faculty with a feeling of security while on campus, gives them an opportunity to interact with a Police Officer on a daily basis, and allows the department to develop a rapport with everyone at the school. The presence of a uniformed police officer not only provides a deterrent to criminal activity on campus, but also to unwanted or undesirable visitors on school grounds. The School Resource Officer is available to students and the staff alike to offer advice, guidance and friendship.
The SRO is a proactive approach to deal with the pressures that today's youth finds itself having to confront. This includes the use of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco, along with peer pressure, gang activity, and sex. These situations are not only in the school, but in the community as well. The approach of addressing these issues only in the school, or only in the community, has not been completely effective. Traditionally, police and schools did not interact until one called upon the other. An SRO is one of the first lines of defense against gangs, drugs, alcohol, and school violence.
The Andover Police Department’s School Resource Officer practices a "triad" concept within the school. This concept has been widely accepted as the model for school based officers. The triad concept divides the SRO responsibilities into three areas: Teacher, Counselor, and Law Enforcement Officer. Our School Resource Officer has a multitude of responsibilities, a highlight of these include:
AS A TEACHER:
- Participate as a resource person in classroom discussions, assemblies, and withparent groups
- Conduct classroom presentations on a variety of law related education issues
- Help young people make more positive choices in their lives
- Promote a better understanding of our laws, why they were enacted, and their benefits
AS A COUNSELOR:
- Listen to students when they want to talk, and help by connecting them to people and services;
- Provide guidance and direction to students, parents and teachers;
- Provide a safe and orderly environment in the school. Counseling, nurturing,intervention & crisis management are some of the services offered by the SRO;
- Act as a liaison between Greater Lawrence Technical School and the sending communities;
- Serve as a confidential source of counseling to students concerning problems they face, especially as they relate to the law;
- Act as a link to other service agencies who provide preventive and counseling services within the school district and Essex County.
The SRO works with many agencies such as the Department of Family Services, health services, substance abuse counseling, mental health counseling, the Lawrence District Court, as well as parent, student, and staff counseling.
AS A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER:
- Serve to protect the school environment and maintain an atmosphere where teachers feel safe to teach and students feel safe enough to learn;
- Interpret juvenile delinquency through close contact with students and personnel;
- Investigate crimes that occur within the school and on school property;
- Act as an additional resource, both to the school, as well as to the patrol officer on the street;
- Improve the image of the police service;