FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Schools in northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio use a number of different resources to keep your students safe and with even with all the technological advances, one of the best resources is a school resource officer.
"It's extremely valuable."
That's how Officer James Payne of the FWPD describes his role as a school resource officer, also know as an SRO, at Lakeside Middle School. Students see him daily patrolling the halls and engaging with their classmates
Payne says, "The kids feel safe knowing that I'm inside the building able to take care of any situation that may require an officer to take care of."
Those situations can range from talking to students about life issues to dealing with an active shooter situation. It's a unique role Sergeant Jim Seay, who's in charge of the SRO program within the Fort Wayne Police Department, says his officers are prepared for partly due to the National Association of School Resource Officers.
"Our school resource officers receive the best training the academy has. They're chosen for that position and they relate well to the students," Seay said.
When asked what other things SRO's get involved in at their schools, Payne replied, "We'll participate in afterschool programs. Participate in sporting activities. Participate in anything that we can to strengthen the relationship between the kids/students and our community."
So even if you see a uniformed officer in a local school, they may be doing more than just security.
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