School Resource Officer
In 2007 the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office created a Law Enforcement / School District Liaison position, also known as a School Resource Officer (SRO) for the rural schools in Jasper County. This position was created to work in conjunction with local school districts in an effort to assist schools with a variety of law enforcement related incidents that take place on the school’s property.
The SRO position is currently assigned to Sergeant Isaac West who has over 10 years of Law Enforcement experience to bring to the schools and the D.A.R.E. program. The Sheriff’s Office SRO position is assigned to the Jasper, Avilla, and Sarcoxie School Districts.
“I am very excited to be the Jasper County Sheriff’s office school resource officer, I look forward to working with the children and the faculty of the Avilla, Jasper and Sarcoxie school districts. My number one goal is to make a safe place for our future.”
– Sgt Isaac West
During the school year, Deputy West serves approximately 1,900 students and school staff members within their assigned districts. The SRO is responsible for assisting the school districts in investigating assaults, drug related cases, property damage, theft, acts of bullying, truancy and assist with at risk students. The SRO also works closely with the Jasper County Juvenile Office, as well as the Division of Family Services in investigating allegations of abuse or neglect involving students in their school districts. The School Resource Officer teaches numerous educational programs for the students, including the D.A.R.E. program, online internet safety, stranger awareness, drug and alcohol awareness, anti-bullying programs, prescription and over the counter medicine abuse education, and impaired driver deterrence. Not only is the SRO position used as a teaching role for mentoring students, but the deputies are on hand to respond to safety related issues that may arise on or near school property.
The D.A.R.E. program is an international taught program instructed by law enforcement officers with the focus on drug, alcohol, and tobacco awareness to school aged children. D.A.R.E. teaches children the negative effects of these drugs on their still growing bodies. The Jasper County Sheriff’s Office has had a Deputy in place to teach D.A.R.E. at the Jasper, Avilla, and Sarcoxie School Districts since spring of 2007.
The SRO officer assists in a variety of school staff educational trainings throughout the school year in creating an implementation of school safety plans, training the staff how to respond in critical incidents, diagnosing risk assessments of safety concerns, and providing information on current drug or crime trends to identify students who are at risk of criminal behavior.