The School Resource Officer (SRO) program is a problem-solving approach to reducing crime by assigning specially trained officers to Whittier and Santa Fe Springs high school campuses in order to establish an ongoing rapport with students, staff and parents.
The program began in 2001 and is the result of a partnership between The Whittier Police Department, the City of Whittier and the Whittier Union High School District. The SRO program's basic goals are to provide a safe learning environment and help reduce school violence, to improve school and law enforcement collaboration and to improve perceptions and relations between students, staff, and law enforcement officials.
While the primary duty is to reduce crime in the schools, SROs often find themselves teaching classes, talking with students, and making referrals to other agencies to help solve individual student and/or family problems. Aside from working with individual students, SROs are committed to community policing concepts regarding their schools and surrounding neighborhoods.
The Whittier Police Department has three School Resource Officers assigned to Whittier High School, La Serna High School, and Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe Springs. The program was originally funded in part by a federal grant out of the COPS office at the United States Department of Justice. It is now jointly funded by the City of Whittier and the school district.