For as long as there have been law enforcement agencies and schools, there has been interaction between the two. Beyond the family, the school is the primary institution that has the opportunity to affect the ideas and activities of children.
School Resource Officers work in cooperation with the schools in a proactive manner to deal with youth concerns before they become youth problems. Working in partnership with the schools provides an opportunity to implement programs aimed primarily at prevention of delinquent behavior through education, communication, and understanding among the school, youth, police, and the community.
The Appleton Police Department's SRO program is one of the longest running and well established SRO programs in the state of Wisconsin. There are currently 12 police officers working in City of Appleton schools. Each has a primary office at the elementary, middle, or high school they are assigned to. Their assignments also include the parochial / private schools in the City.
In addition to the 12 SROs, there is a lieutenant who serves as a coordinator to the program and who also works on a variety of community initiatives to provide better services to juveniles and their families.
The SROs have many responsibilities. They serves as a liaison between the police department and the schools, as well as the community. They serve as resources to the school staff and the students, and are frequently asked to give class presentations. The officers also conduct investigations regarding violations of the law where the students are either victims or suspects. They work closely with students, families, school staff, and social service agencies to try to prevent young people from getting into trouble.
During the summer months several of the SROs continue to work on sensitive crime investigations, juvenile investigations, and special crime prevention programs. Other SROs assist the patrol division and are especially helpful in the downtown area where many juveniles congregate.
Appleton SROs go through a selection process which includes having them respond to several written questions, review of their resume and job experience, review of their performance evaluations, and an oral interview. School officials often provide input during the interview process. The School Resource Officer position is not a permanent position, and most officers serve approximately four to six years as SROs before returning to patrol or other positions within the Appleton Police Department.
Further information about the Appleton Police School Resource Officer program can be obtained by calling or sending an email to: Lt. Mike Frisch- (920) 832-5930.