The Rome Police Department and the City of Rome School District have partnered to utilize a School Resource Officer in Rome Free Academy High School and Strough Middle School. The program is a comprehensive interagency strategy designed to assist communities in focusing leadership and resources on the issues related to creating and maintaining a safe school environment.
The main objective of the SRO is to prevent juvenile delinquency by promoting positive relations between youth and law enforcement. The SRO position encompasses three major components, which allow the SRO to achieve this goal: law enforcement, education, and counseling. These three components allow the SRO to take a proactive approach to law enforcement. SRO's are not just "cops" on campus. SRO's provide all law enforcement duties on their campus. They educate the students by teaching law related classes and other related subjects in the classrooms and counsel both students and parents on various topics. The SRO becomes involved in the students' lives as a positive role model. The intent is that the positive experiences students have with the SRO will bridge the gap between juveniles and law enforcement, and in doing so, help prevent juvenile crime.
Personnel were selected for this intense and gratifying job from the patrol division. Criteria for the officers included that they be educated, have a base of knowledge regarding youth, current social issues, and the criminal justice system. Personnel should also possess effective verbal, interpersonal, and written communication skills, including the ability to address public audiences in the school, business and community settings. Officer James Richardson (R.F.A.), Officer Merino Ciccone (R.F.A.) and Officer Dan Vescio (Strough Middle School) serve in that capacity.