School Resource Officers (SRO's)
In fall 1998 in the City of Boerne, an initiative to protect and educate the youth of our city was implemented at Boerne High School. In a partnership created by the City of Boerne, the Boerne Independent School District (BISD), and the State of Texas, our city's first SRO was selected. The creation of this program was a multipronged effort to provide a safe and secure learning environment for our children and young adults.
Our four, current School Resource Officers are all seasoned patrol officers who have received hundreds of additional hours of specialized training and combined have over 50 years of Law Enforcement experience. The training and experience has allowed the officers to become subject matter experts in the field of juvenile law as well as the criminal enforcement portions of the Texas Education Code. The SRO’s are also responsible for creating and maintaining youth projects and services throughout the city. They help to coordinate bicycle safety programs, teach classes related to alcohol and drugs, and other general safety events including Boerne's “Safety Town” project. It should also be noted that the schools that do not have SRO’s receive extra patrol coverage during the start and ending time of their school day.
The school resource officer program that we have in the City of Boerne has time and again proven its effectiveness and success. Our SRO’s are a vital part of our community as they protect and serve our children in an environment that is increasingly becoming a target. They provide an extra safety net in schools by conducting security assessments of school buildings and surrounding areas, teach school lock down procedures and provide critical incident training in school communities. When appropriate, they provide clear and consistent boundaries and expectations (as well as the consequences for breaking these rules) for students, parents and teachers. They provide a positive role model for students; especially those without positive role models in their lives. Our SRO’s are active mentors to students in the BISD Mentoring Program. Our SRO’s provide conflict resolution for students and staff; as well as education on school law. They help educate students and teachers on the topics of self-defense, internet safety, predator awareness, prevention of abuse and problem solving. They act as a deterrent to crime in schools and provide overall support for a safe and caring school climate.
Safety town has been awarded "Best Public Safety Program in the State of Texas" for cities under 25,000. The program takes place during the summer when the school resource officers are away from their campuses. The program deals exclusively with kinder age children and introduces them to emergency personnel and services like police, fire, and EMS. The children are also introduced to other public services that they will encounter as children, which includes school bus safety, stray animals, and electrical safety. The SROs have consistently received outstanding cooperation and support from the various speakers and entities involved with the program.
Four Boerne Police Department officers are assigned full-time to the BISD campuses located in our city:
- Officer Hector Hernandez - assigned to Boerne-Samuel V. Champion High School
- Officer Roger Faz - assigned to Boerne High School
- Officer Jon Rutledge - assigned to Boerne Middle School North
- Officer Keith Faulkner - assigned to Boerne Middle School South
- Being involved with Campus Crime Stoppers
- Providing a safe environment for our kids
- Responding to calls for service
- Serving as speakers in many classes
- Investigating crimes that occur on campus
Our relationship with the teachers and staff of BISD has been strengthened by the presence of these officers. Most importantly, the relationship our department has with the young people of our community has been solidified through the SROs and the program as a whole.