New School Resource Officer for Grand Valley High School

Staff report

Sheriff Lou Vallario announced this week the establishment of a School Resource Officer program for Grand Valley High School in Parachute.

The program was made possible through a collaborative effort of Garfield District 16, the town of Parachute and the Sheriff’s Office, according to a news release.

Each entity has agreed to fund a third of the annual salary and benefits for the officer,” according to the Sheriff’s Office, which will pick up the additional costs for the deputy such as vehicle, radio, weapons, uniforms, etc.

The school district has $10,000 available for specific SRO training, according to the release.

The new school year began for all District 16 schools Tuesday.

“The SRO provides a connection for law enforcement with our youth in the various schools and an enhanced level of safety within the school,” Sheriff Lou Vallario said. “It should be realized that, while an SRO is a deputy of the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, he is not a school guard but rather a school resource.

“The SRO is there to assist the school staff in discussions on topics as diverse as drug use, alcohol abuse, texting while driving, sexting and a variety of other topics that relate to law enforcement” Vallario said.

The SRO will also often attend school sporting events and may even assist in coaching, he added.

“They definitely work hand in hand with school counselors and administrators for the betterment of the school and the overall school environment. They are also there to discuss issues or concerns with parents and grandparents making them a true resource to the community.

The new SRO, who has yet to be named, will be assigned to Grand Valley High School, but will also share their time with the middle school and other schools in the district.

An additional SRO may be established for the middle school in Battlement Mesa, “allowing each deputy to concentrate on his or her specific school and develop the trust and respect that only familiarity can provide,” Vallario said.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.