Class preps Student Resource Officers for upcoming school year

MADISON COUNTY, Tenn. — Students across West Tennessee are heading back to school in less than a week, and Student Resource Officers are making sure they are prepared for the school year.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Department hosted a certification class for SROs in West Tennessee. Sergeant Bill Young says the class covers a range of different topics.

“They have been working on learning about topics such as threat assessment,” Sgt. Young said. “They are learning today about emotional intelligence and communication, professional communication.”

The department has a 16 hour course for veteran SROs and a 40 hour certification course for new SROs.

Young says the classes are designed to help SROs prepare for the reality of what their job requires.

“It is a totally different type of police work than it is as a regular patrol officer, so we have to equip them with the skill sets they need,” Young said.

Deputy Matthew Gilbert with Hardin County Sheriff’s Department attended the class, and says an SRO is usually a student’s first encounter with law enforcement.

And as an SRO, having a good relationship with them makes a world of difference.

“Several of us are in elementary schools here, a lot of us in high schools,” Deputy Gilbert said. “It is important to get them to understand the role that police play in their community and how to interact with the police. Police are there to help you and that you should seek them out.”

The SROs will have their last day of class on Friday.

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