Salinas Police Department SRO Program a Success as School Year Ends

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News Date: 
May 30, 2019

Salinas Police Department SRO Program a Success as School Year Ends

The School Resource Officer team started protecting schools within the Santa Rita Union School District on October 30, 2017. The two-officer team secures seven schools that include Bolsa Knolls and Gavilan View Middle Schools, La Joya, McKinnon, Roosevelt, and Santa Rita Elementary Schools, and Little Bear Preschool.

The highly trained team maintains a visible and friendly presence to help deter crime and potential intruders. They create safe and welcoming environment to help students and staff focus on education.  Community feedback has been extremely positive with many expressing how much safer they feel when the officers are present.

The officers are strong role models that help guide children toward positive futures. They are in the classrooms teaching two evidence-based drug, crime, and delinquency prevention programs Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) program and Drug Abuse Resistance and Education (DARE) program. They have directly guided over 900 students in 5th, 6th, and 7th grade.

The SROs are certified ALICE instructors and have trained all school staff members. ALICE stands for Alert Lockdown Inform Counter and Evacuate.  It is a system that empowers schools with additional options to respond during an emergency involving an active killer. They learned how to safely barricade, evacuate, and if necessary, attack and defend against an intruder.

The officers routinely assist the schools during morning drop off and afternoon pickup to keep kids safe. They can be seen at crosswalks, directing traffic, and setting up safety barricades to help slow cars down.  Most of their enforcement actions have been for bad drivers but they have also arrested burglars and stopped trespassers on campus.

SROs are committed to keeping our kids safe and developing positive community relationships. They are highly effective and a key component of the Chief’s community policing philosophy and department wide direction. Their best measure of success comes in the form of numerous hugs, selfies, and thank yous. Congratulations to Officers Richard Lopez and Lino Sanchez on the outstanding work they do. Have a great summer!