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     A School Resource Officer is a sworn officer assigned to a school on a long-term basis trained to perform three major roles: law enforcement officer, law-related counselor, and law-related educator*. The officer works in collaboration with the school and the community as a resource for safety and security issues.

     Sheriff Farris believes that having an adequate number of School Resource Officers at every school in Putnam County, TN, is vital for the safety of our students. He is committed to increasing the number of SRO’s until we have a full complement of two deputies per school during normal school hours.

     An SRO has a diverse role in the school community and has many duties and responsibilities.

Law Enforcement

     Each of our SROs assists the school administration in maintaining a safe and secure environment. School administrators benefit from the SROs training, knowledge and experience in handling situations involving possible weapons violations or in the identification of controlled substances. The SRO provides a highly visible presence to deter or identify trespassers on campus. In addition, SROs provide a service to the surrounding community by addressing concerns such as loitering, speeding or loud car radios. The students when going to or from school often generate these types of community complaints.

     SROs are responsible for investigating violations of criminal law and when appropriate making arrests. An SRO’s sworn duty to enforce the law does not contradict the need for the SRO to be a positive role model — it, in fact, supports it. It is essential for a SRO to endorse high moral standards and use good judgment and discretion. Through this, students learn and understand what a professional police officer does.

Problem Solver & Liaison to Community Resources

     In the school setting, problem solving involves coordinated efforts among administrators, teachers, students, parents, mental health professionals, and community-based stakeholders. SROs frequently assist in resolving problems that are not necessarily law violations, such as bullying or disorderly behavior, but which are nonetheless safety issues that can result in or contribute to criminal incidents. Helping resolve these problems frequently requires the officer to act as a resource liaison, referring students to professional services within both the school (guidance counselors, social workers) and the community (youth and family service organizations). In particular, SROs often build relationships with juvenile justice counselors, who are responsible for supervising delinquent youths, connecting them with needed services, and recommending diversionary activities.

     SROs can serve as a resource for classroom presentations that complement the educational curriculum by emphasizing the fundamental principles and skills needed for responsible citizenship, as well as by teaching topics related to policing. Topics that could be taught by an SRO include:
  • Policing As A Career
  • Alcohol and Drug Awareness
  • Distracted Driving Awareness
  • Gang and Stranger Awareness and Resistance
  • General Crime Prevention
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Babysitting Safety
  • Bicycle, Pedestrain & Motor Vehicle Safety
  • Special topics in which students are more likely to be victims or offenders: Vandalism, Shoplifting and Sexual Assault by Acquaintances

     *Three primary roles as defined by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), a division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

School Resource Officers

Deputy Randy Brown
Burks Elementary
Deputy David Cantrell
Cookeville High School

Deputy Ron Harris
Jere Whitson Elementary
Sycamore Elementary
Deputy Bill Harris
Cookeville High School

Deputy Brandon Masters
Prescott Middle
Prescott Elementary
Deputy Zack Maxwell
Avery Trace Middle School

Deputy Will Page
White Plains Academy
Deputy John Pettit
Upperman Middle School

Deputy Rick Shepherd
Baxter Primary
Cornerstone Elementery
Deputy Bo Sherrell
Upperman High School

Deputy Dan Gragg
Monterey High School
Deputy Matt McDaniel
Algood Middle School
Algood Elementary School

Deputy Matt Hickey
Parkview Elementary
Cane Creek Elementary

Major Greg Whittaker
Support Services
Office: (931)528-8484
Fax: (931)646-1490

Lieutenant Steve Elrod
SRO Supervisor
Office: (931)528-8484

Putnam County Sheriff's Office
421 E Spring St.
Cookeville, TN 38501
Phone: (931)528-8484
Fax: (931)528-7043

©2014-2018 • Putnam County Sheriff's Office • Putnam County, Tennessee • Sheriff Eddie Farris
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