School Resource Officer Program

About the SRO program 

The goal of the Poudre School District School Resource Officer (SRO) program is to provide a safe learning environment and help reduce school violence while improving perceptions and relations between students, staff and law enforcement officials. PSD and its partner agencies agree not only to help protect the safety of PSD’s school communities but also continue striving toward a restorative-practices approach to disciplinary issues.

In spring of 2020, members of PSD communities expressed concerns about the presence of SROs in PSD schools. Concerns included but weren’t limited to the existence of a school-to-prison pipeline and the lifelong impact it has on some students in our schools, particularly students of color. The PSD Board of Education directed the school district to conduct a comprehensive review of the issue to determine whether to continue the SRO program.

This review included gathering input from PSD staff, students and families and culminated with recommendations to the board from a community committee known as the Community Advisory Council. The board took this critical feedback into consideration before deciding in May 2021 to continue the SRO program and directing staff to negotiate with the three law enforcement agencies that employ the SROs: Fort Collins Police Services, Larimer County Sheriff’s Office and Timnath Police Department.
 

SRO roles and procedures

The standard operating procedures (SOPs) provide direction to the district and agencies to ensure shared understanding of the role of SROs. The agreements and SOPs were developed with input from the Community Advisory Council and stakeholders.

Quick facts about the SRO program and SOPs

  • The goal of the SRO program is to provide a safe learning environment and help reduce school violence while improving perceptions and relations between students, staff and law enforcement officials. PSD and its partner agencies agree not only to help protect the safety of PSD’s school communities but also continue striving toward a restorative-practices approach to disciplinary issues. ·
    • School administrators have broad latitude in addressing minor violations of the Student Rights and Code of Conduct that may also be violations of the law.
    • Minor violations should be addressed by the school administrators without involvement of the SRO. In general, SROs shall not be involved in school disciplinary matters.
  • In certain circumstances, school administrators may be required to report situations to law enforcement for investigation (e.g. child subjected to abuse or neglect; school-related threats of violence; crimes with victims).
  • If a student reports a situation either to an SRO or school administrator, the official should listen to the report.
    • If it is a minor Code of Conduct violation, it should be referred to a school administrator.
    • If a SRO interviews a student witness or victim, the school administrator shall make every attempt to notify the students’ parent/guardian about the reported incident and interview.
    • If a SRO is interviewing a suspect of a crime, they shall do so in accordance with the law.
  • PSD will provide guidance and training for school staff to respond to incidents involving students in crisis in a way that protects staff and students and does not require a SRO to respond.
    • New for the 2021-22 school year, a PSD Mental Health Co-Responder Team, comprised of a PSD mental health professional and SRO, should only be called to intervene in non-criminal situations with students when there is a threat of injury to the student in crisis, other students, school staff or other individuals.
       

Program evaluation during 2021-22 school year

A steering committee, comprised of law enforcement representatives and PSD staff, will review the SRO program four times during the school year. The committee will analyze data and program experiences, evaluate how implementation of the 2021-22 SOPs is going and design required trainings.

In addition to training that law enforcement agencies require SROs to go through, up to four joint trainings will take place during the school year. The trainings will be required for all PSD administrators and SROs. Trainings could cover topics including but not limited to the program and SOPs, as well as restorative practices, cybercrimes and school law.

During the school year, PSD staff will also provide regular updates to the board. This ongoing oversight will determine whether changes need to be made to future contracts and SOPs. This evaluation process is subject to change.
 

SROs contact information and school assignments

For emergencies, call 911.

SRO Supervisor, Fort Collins Police Services
Officer Laura Lunsford | 970.416.2836 | llunsford@fcgov.com

SRO Supervisor, Larimer County Sheriff's Office
Officer Robert Cook  | 970.619.4044 | cookrl@co.larimer.co.us

 

SROs at Middle and High Schools

For emergencies, call 911.

 

High schools

Centenniel: Officer Cole Zempel  |  970.472.3871  | czempel@psdschools.org

Fort Collins: Officer Jason Epling  | 970.488.8010 | jepling@psdschools.org

Fossil Ridge: Officer Ehrich Weis | 970.488.6306 | eweis@psdschools.org

PCA: Officer Dane Stratton  |  970.488.5786  |  dstratton@psdschools.org

Poudre: Officer Josh Golden | 970.488.6095 | jgolden@psdschools.org

Rocky Mountain: Officer Derrek Ross | 970.488.7013 | derrekr@psdschools.org

 

Middle schools

Blevins: Officer Jaclyn Shaklee | 970.488.4046 | jshaklee@psdschools.org

Boltz: Officer Dexter Rowe  |  970.472.3705  |  drowe@psdschools.org

Cache La Poudre: Officer Brendan Solano  |  970.488.7412  |  bsolano@psdschools.org

Kinard: Officer Kate Garcia  |  970.488.5430  |  kgarcia@psdschools.org

Lesher: Officer Cole Zempel  |  970.472.3871  | czempel@psdschools.org

Lincoln: Officer Dane Stratton  |  970.488.5786  |  dstratton@psdschools.org

PCA: Officer Dane Stratton  |  970.488.5786  |  dstratton@psdschools.org

Polaris: Officer Jaclyn Shaklee  |  970.488.4046  |  jshaklee@psdschools.org

Preston: Officer Megan Savage | 970.490-3698 | msavage@psdschools.org

Webber: Officer Mike Natalzia | 970.488.7829 | mnatalzia@psdschools.org

Wellington: Officer Nancy Remington | 970.488.6653 | nancy@psdschools.org

 

Online learning schools

Global Academy: Officer Cole Zempel  |  970.472.3871  | czempel@psdschools.org

PSD Virtual: Officer Jared Sargent  |  970.416.2399  |  jsargent@psdschools.org

 

SRO Contacts for Elementary and Additional Schools

For emergencies, call 911.

 

Bacon: Officer Kate Garcia  |  970.488.5430  |  kgarcia@psdschools.org

Bamford: Officer Nancy Remington | 970.488.6653 | nancy@psdschools.org

Bauder: Officer Jaclyn Shaklee | 970.488.4046 | jshaklee@psdschools.org

Beattie: Officer Mike Natalzia | 970.488.7829 | mnatalzia@psdschools.org

Bennett: Officer Jaclyn Shaklee | 970.488.4046 | jshaklee@psdschools.org

Bethke: Officer Brian York  |  970.224-32311  |  byork@psdschools.org

Cache La Poudre: Officer Brendan Solano  |  970.488.7412  |  bsolano@psdschools.org

Dunn: Officer Jaclyn Shaklee | 970.488.4046 | jshaklee@psdschools.org

Eyestone: Officer Nancy Remington | 970.488.6653 | nancy@psdschools.org

Harris: Officer Cole Zempel  |  970.472.3871  | czempel@psdschools.org

Irish: Officer Dane Stratton  |  970.488.5786  |  dstratton@psdschools.org

Johnson: Officer Mike Natalzia | 970.488.7829 | mnatalzia@psdschools.org

Kruse: Officer Megan Savage | 970.490-3698 | msavage@psdschools.org

Laurel: Officer Dexter Rowe  |  970.472.3705  |  drowe@psdschools.org

Linton: Officer Megan Savage | 970.490-3698 | msavage@psdschools.org

Livermore: Officer Brendan Solano  |  970.488.7412  |  bsolano@psdschools.org

Lopez: Officer Mike Natalzia | 970.488.7829 | mnatalzia@psdschools.org

McGraw: Officer Mike Natalzia | 970.488.7829 | mnatalzia@psdschools.org

O'Dea: Officer Dexter Rowe  |  970.472.3705  |  drowe@psdschools.org

Olander: Officer Mike Natalzia | 970.488.7829 | mnatalzia@psdschools.org

Putnam: Officer Dane Stratton  |  970.488.5786  |  dstratton@psdschools.org

Red Feather: Officer Brendan Solano  |  970.488.7412  |  bsolano@psdschools.org

Rice: Officer Nancy Remington | 970.488.6653 | nancy@psdschools.org

Riffenburgh: Officer Dexter Rowe  |  970.472.3705  |  drowe@psdschools.org

Shepardson: Officer Dexter Rowe  |  970.472.3705  |  drowe@psdschools.org

Stove Prairie: Officer Brendan Solano  |  970.488.7412  |  bsolano@psdschools.org

Tavelli: Officer Cole Zempel  |  970.472.3871  | czempel@psdschools.org

Timnath: Officer Brian York  |  970.224-32311  |  byork@psdschools.org

Traut: Officer Megan Savage | 970.490-3698 | msavage@psdschools.org

Werner: Officer Kate Garcia  |  970.488.5430  |  kgarcia@psdschools.org

Zach: Officer Kate Garcia  |  970.488.5430  |  kgarcia@psdschools.org

 

Additional schools

Fullana: Officer Dane Stratton  |  970.488.5786  |  dstratton@psdschools.org

Global Academy: Officer Cole Zempel  |  970.472.3871  | czempel@psdschools.org

PSD Virtual: Officer Jared Sargent  |  970.416.2399  |  jsargent@psdschools.org


Frequently Asked Questions

When did the SRO program start? Who is part of the agreement? Does it include charter schools?

When did the SRO program start in PSD?1995

How many SROs are part of PSD’s agreements with Fort Collins Police Services, Larimer County Sheriff’s Office and Timnath Police Department, and where do they work? Among Fort Collins Police Services, Larimer County Sheriff’s Office and Timnath Police Department,11 SROs, two corporals and one SRO supervisor are contracted to work for PSD schools in the 2021-22 school year. PSD new middle-high schools will be assigned an SRO as they open.

  • One SRO assigned to each high school (four total).
  • One SRO assigned to each middle school (seven total).
  • Those SROs are assigned to elementary schools and other district sites, including Early Childhood Education.

Are SROs assigned to PSD-authorized charter schools?No. The SRO agreements do not include PSD’s authorized charter schools: Liberty Common, Ridgeview Classical Schools, Mountain Sage, Compass Collaborative School or Fort Collins Montessori.

Are SROs PSD employees? Who hires them and pays for them? Who is responsible for SRO performance?

Are SROs school district employees? No. SROs are employees of their contracted law enforcement agency.

Who hires the SROs?An SRO Personnel Committee, consisting of at least two staff from PSD (at a minimum, must include the middle or high school principal/designee from where the SRO will be located and PSD’s security manager/designee); two members of the hiring law enforcement agency; and one PSD student. The committee will recruit, interview and evaluate SRO applicants and give the chief/sheriff of the hiring law enforcement agency a favorable recommendation (this is a majority consensus of the committee). The chief/sheriff has the sole discretion to appoint officers as SROs from the list of recommended applicants.

Who pays for the SROs?PSD is contracted to pay 50% of the employment costs for each SRO and supervisor assigned to the program based on a 220 working-day school year. The district also pays the law enforcement agency on a quarterly basis 50% of the previous quarter’s overtime costs for SROs that work overtime hours performing school-related business and while working at district events, as requested by the district.

Who is responsible for SRO performance?The law enforcement agency is responsible for taking any necessary or appropriate disciplinary action against any SRO or SRO supervisor and will consult with PSD when doing so. The district will provide regular feedback to the SRO and SRO supervisor about performance, and participate in reviews, evaluations and planning for SRO positions. PSD will immediately report to the law enforcement agency any instances of alleged misconduct or discrimination, and PSD and the law enforcement agency will cooperate with one another if there is an investigation of allegations of misconduct or discrimination.

What equipment do SRO use? How are they trained?

What equipment do SROs use?The SROs working in PSD schools are outfitted with standard law enforcement equipment to fulfill job duties.

What trainings do SROs go through?Law enforcement agencies are responsible for providing basic SRO training (i.e. Colorado Association of SROs, National Association of SROs, etc.) to all new SROs before they start in PSD as an SRO or as soon as reasonably possible after commencement of employment. The agencies will also provide PSD annually with a list of required trainings for SROs. Examples of required SRO trainings through contracted law enforcement agencies include but aren’t limited to bias policing, ethics, bias-motivated crimes, less lethal and weaponless control, mental health, hazmat/exposure, firearms, driving, community policing/partnership, electronic control weapons (Taser), child abuse, threat assessments, CPR/first aid, restorative justice, victim’s rights, equity/diversity/inclusion, and more.

Can SROs engage with students, staff and the community? Can they participate in classroom instruction?

Can SROs participate in classroom instruction?Yes. Upon request by a school administrator or designee, SROs may assist school staff in conducting specialized classes on topics such as the role of policing in the community, search and seizure, traffic laws, crime prevention, victims’ rights, youth programs and community involvement. Before the class takes place, PSD will provide notice to parents/guardians of the students who would participate in the class and provide the opportunity for the parent/guardian to opt their student out of the class. If the parent/guardian does opt their student out, PSD will provide a comparable alternative for the student to receive the information.

Can SROs engage with students, staff and the community?Yes, in some circumstances. SROs will seek to establish working relationships with students, staff and community members. Upon invitation by a school administrator, SROs may attend parent, staff, administrative or other meetings to provide information about the program, as well as to provide opportunities for involvement and support. SROs may also participate in discussions during classes to establish rapport with students, as request by a school employee. PSD must provide prior notice to parents/guardians in the class and give parents/guardians the opportunity to opt their student out of class. SROs shall not be used for regularly assigned lunchroom duties, hall monitoring or other monitoring duties, or other matters outlined in the 2021-22 Standard Operating Procedures.

Can SROs arrest students?

SROs, as law enforcement officers, can only detain or take into physical custody those students for whom there is reasonable suspicion or probable cause that they have committed a criminal offense. If the SRO determines that a criminal complaint needs to be filed with the juvenile or district court, a juvenile complaint, rather than an arrest, is the preferred method of brining the student to court. Prior to filing the complaint, the SRO will consider whether a referral to a community program is appropriate. SROs will not serve as school disciplinarians or enforcers of school regulations; they shall not use police powers to address traditional school discipline issues, including non-violent disruptive behavior.

Do SROs respond if a student is suicidal?

PSD will provide guidance and training for school staff to respond to incidents involving students in crisis in a way that protects staff and students and does not require a SRO to respond. New for the 2021-22 school year, a PSD Mental Health Co-Responder Team, comprised of a PSD mental health professional and SRO, should only be called to intervene in non-criminal situations with students when there is a threat of injury to the student in crisis, other students, school staff or other individuals. The team intends to provide crisis stabilization for students experiencing a mental health crisis, which may be characterized by suicidal ideation/intent/plan; a recent suicide attempt; or a severe mental health symptom (e.g. depression, anxiety, panic, psychosis, distress). It may be self-defined by the student or identified by a PSD mental health professional.

The goal of the Co-Responder Team is to provide professional, compassionate and comprehensive services through collaboration between mental health professionals and SROs. The primary focus is to help the student experiencing crisis by addressing their immediate needs and routing them to the appropriate level of care.

Can an SRO question a student, parent/guardian or family member about their immigration status or work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)?

No. SROs shall not question students, parents/guardians or family members about their immigration status. SROs will not assist ICE officers in any way in conjunction with their assignment as an SRO or in any work related to students and their educations. Information obtained by SROs from student records or in connection with the SRO program will not be released to ICE personnel, law enforcement agencies or to other agencies investigating a student or their family member’s immigration status.

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