Dresden Board Discusses Hiring a School Resource Officer
The Dresden School Board met on November 19th to continue their discussion on hiring a School Resource Officer (SRO) for the Hanover schools. Chief Dennis and Captain Bodanza from the Hanover Police Department attended the meeting and answered questions from board members about the proposed SRO position.
Chief Dennis began the discussion by outlining the purpose and role of an SRO. An SRO works to maintain a safe school environment by working closely with the school administration and to create positive relationships with students. The three primary roles of an SRO are to be a guest educator in classrooms, a mentor for students, and a law enforcement officer. At Hanover High, an SRO would act as a resource for the Hanover High community on law enforcement practices as well as handling criminal activity occurring at the school.
If the Dresden School Board decides to hire an SRO, the hiring process would be conducted jointly by the school and the police department. The SRO candidate would have to complete a 40 hour basic training and a 24 hour advanced training. Chief Dennis mentioned that best practice would include a training specific to situations involving students with disabilities.
Three Hanover High students addressed the board during the discussion. Two of the students are participating in the Norwich Officer Cadet program and they spoke to the positive relationships Norwich Police Chief Frank created with students during her time as an SRO in Windsor, Vermont. The next Dresden School Board meeting will take place on December 17th.