Aug 5, 2014 8:28 PM by Lupita Murillo
MARANA- Marana School Resource Officers are back on the job after years of being absent. Many SRO programs were scrapped during the last economic downturn.
Thanks to a new grant, two Marana schools got law enforcement officers back on campus for the next three years.
School Resource Officer Melissa Larkin is armed with her lesson plan for the next year. Besides providing safety and security, she will also be teaching the students anti-bullying. She will educate them about the dangers of drugs, and alcohol. All this in an effort so the students can make better choices.
The $177,000 grant from the Arizona Department of Education requires 180 hours of law related education and SRO's must spend 80 percent of their time on campus. The other SRO is assigned to Marana High School.
Larkin is responsible for over 1,000 students and about a 100 staff members.
On the second day of school, Officer Larkin told News4 Crime Trackers, "The parents see me here, and they are reassured that they are going to have a safe day at school and if anything were to happen I'm here to take care of it."
Larkin is taking care of matters just as she's done in years past. She's answered over 100 calls to various schools, taking her off patrol duties for several hours at a time. She said, "Mandatory reports tend to be a little more involved."
Last year alone Marana Police responded to 93 calls at Marana Middle School. That's one of the main reasons Marana restored the SRO's . The principal, Kristin Reidy said, "The more the students know about the law and consequences of their behavior with the law the more knowledgeable they'll be and the better choices they will make."
So the lesson here is for the SRO's is to teach, prevent crime, and promote safety.
The Marana Police Department will be hiring two more officers to replace the SRO's.