The Role of School Resource Officers in our Schools


Officer Douglas has been Kenwood’s SRO for three years now.

Destinee Pate and Chris Wilkins

The School Resource Officer (SRO) program began in Baltimore County in 1997. It is the partnership between Baltimore County Public Schools and the Baltimore County Police Department. Whether schools should maintain the presence of SROs in schools has become a hot topic of debate the last few years.

With the news headlines regarding police brutality, a major lack of trust between police and students have been created, but then there’s also been the concerned increase in school violence.

Without SRO’s there could be an even bigger disconnect between officers and youth, since having SROs in the building can help bridge a connection between the officers and the youth in the community. Junior Kia H shares, “I frequently stop and talk with the one SRO. We talk football.”

Kenwood has two school resource officers, Officer Douglas and Officer Thulion. Officer Douglas has been at Kenwood for three years but has been an SRO in schools for eighteen years now.

Kenwood’s Officer Thulion actually originally started college, majoring in education so he really enjoys getting to know the students in the building. He adds, “My favorite part of the job is the interaction with the students.”

Besides building relationships with the youth the police department may serve in the community, SRO are also present on school grounds for safety.  Recently in Olathe Kansas, there was a student that shot a principal and the SRO in the room with him before the student was shot by the SRO. If the SRO wasn’t there to stop the student, that student could have gone on to shoot other students and staff.

With everything going on in the world and news of students creating violence within school walls like the recent Olathe shooting, some students feel safer knowing SROs are in the building at all times. Freshman Abdul Sesay shares, “If someone is going to starting shooting in the school, calling the police if they weren’t already here would take at least 5-10 minutes.”

Besides building relationships with the youth in the community and being presence for safety concerns, SROs also engage in educational and mentoring activities. They can be guest speakers or teachers in classrooms. “We do a little bit of everything,” adds Officer Thulion. “Everything from education, to mentoring, to enforcement.”

If you’re unsure about the presence of SROs at your school. Stop and talk to them. Get to know them; they’d love to get to know you.