Additional school resource officer positions approved

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 7, 2019

WINSTON-SALEM — The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Board of Education has approved the addition of school resource officers (SRO) by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.

Recently, at the request of the FCSO, the WS/FCS BOE approved the addition of two new SRO positions. The FCSO reassigned two deputies from other areas within the agency, adding one additional SRO each to both West Forsyth High School and Reagan High School.

The reassignment of the deputies as SROs is a direct result of Sheriff Bobby F. Kimbrough, Jr.’s commitment to enhancing the safety of the children of our community. Sheriff Kimbrough proposed the addition to the WS/FCS BOE with no new costs incurred to WS/FCS for the 2018- 2019 school year.

“The school system is doing what they can to plan and provide for the safety of its students and staff. We all agree that children are our greatest asset. As the office of sheriff, how can we say we are here to serve and protect if we do not put forth every available resource to protect the very future of our community?” Sheriff Kimbrough asked.

The FCSO is responsible for providing SROs to the middle and high schools within its primary jurisdiction. Both West Forsyth High School and Reagan High School are large campuses with a significant number of students enrolled. Additional deputies at each of these high schools will not only increase campus security but also allow more one-on-one time for the students with the SROs.

“We welcome the additional law enforcement resources on these campuses. They are two of our largest campuses and the enhanced visibility is valuable. We thank the sheriff for his commitment to our students’ safety,” says Jonathan Wilson, WS/FCS director of security.

The role of the SRO is not about the policing of students, increasing the number of student arrests, or enforcing infractions; the function of the SRO is to build relationships, offer mentoring, and provide positive role modeling for students. It is the shared hope of the WS/FCS and the FCSO that the increased officer presence will serve as a deterrent to students from making poor decisions.

The addition of the new SRO positions is just yet one more way in which the WS/FCS and the FCSO are continuing to collaborate to provide a safe environment for our children. Working together, we can give our students the tools to receive not only the best education but also the positive relationships they need to achieve their goals in life.