New School Resource Officer for Grand Valley High School
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.