The School Resource Officer is a cooperative program that utilizes a uniformed police officer within the school systems in Camrose, Alberta. It is a joint effort with funding from Battle River School District, Elk Island Catholic Schools and the City of Camrose. It provides both a proactive and reactive resource for the schools within our city.
The School Resource Officer had it’s beginnings in 1996 with the inception of the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program in the elementary schools. Since then the D.A.R.E. program has become a mainstay for the SRO. The D.A.R.E. curriculum covers a number of issues that Alberta Learning includes in the core health curriculum. The D.A.R.E. program has expanded to include grade six, eight and three. A brief history is as follows:
1996 – D.A.R.E. begins in the City of Camrose
1997 – The first two grade six D.A.R.E. classes in Camrose graduate.
1997 – In the fall of 1997 all grade six classes in the City of Camrose receive the D.A.R.E. curriculum.
1998 – The grade eight curriculum is introduced to five classes.
1999 – D.A.R.E. expanded to all grade eight classes in Camrose. A grade three curriculum also introduced to the Camrose schools.
Currently D.A.R.E. is taught in all of the schools in the City of Camrose and has been embraced by school teachers, administrators and parents in our community.
There is currently one School Resource Officer who teaches and coordinates the D.A.R.E. program with numerous officers who volunteer their time to teach classes throughout the city.
The School Resource Officer also maintains an active schedule of classes to high school students regarding drug and alcohol awareness, youth and the law and careers in policing. This is conducted in the Career and Life Management classes in the high school curriculum. The SRO also conducts classes to classes of various ages with topics including: bullying, bike safety, cyber safety, etc.
In 2005 the Camrose Police Service along with the Rotary Club of Camrose, Augustana University College and Battle River School District joined together to offer a new youth project. The Rotary Club provided funding for 12 youth to be involved in an outdoor leadership experience. Augustana University College provided the equipment and staff at the schools identified potential youth to get involved. The focus was to provide youth with an outdoor experience to enhance their self confidence, coping with stressful situations and provide a positive experience in their life. This was done in the form of a seven day canoe trip on the North Saskatchewan River. These types of new, proactive programs will continue to grow bonds with the Camrose Police Service and the youth of our community.
The School Resource Officer program is a very valuable tool for the Camrose Police Service to be proactive in our community and to build bonds with our future adult residents.