One year ago, the Natrona County School District (NCSD), the Casper Police Department (CPD), and the City of Casper partnered together to establish a plan to increase the number of School Resource Officers across the District.
Since that time the number of School Resource Officers in schools has more than tripled. Currently, CPD has six active SRO’s in schools and the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office provides additional School Resource Officer services in rural schools. Additionally, the Evansville Police Department is working together with NCSD to offer SRO support in Evansville.
School Resources Officers are a vital part of the partnership between NCSD and CPD. These officers assist in providing a safe learning environment while acting as an integral resource to schools. Each SRO has a dedicated interest in continuing to promote and foster a positive relationship with students and the community while providing superior policing services and a dedication to the safety of the Casper community.
“We are here to keep kids and staff safe while serving as a valuable resource to the school communities and that’s a duty that we value, strive to honor daily, and place as a high priority,” said Officer Ty Mower. “Just as importantly, we also want students to see a positive side of law enforcement, to know they can trust us, and see us in a positive way.”
The SRO’s are assigned to individual schools within the District. This allows them to build strong relationships with students. The Casper Police Department hopes the trust and confidence those relationships create last well beyond the student’s school-age years.
“Officer Galloway is my favorite person in the building. I know that I have someone I can count on at school. I feel like no matter what it is, I can talk to him and he will help me. Plus, he’s pretty funny and good at basketball…but we always beat him.” – DMJH 8th Grade student
School Resources Officers frequently visit classrooms to help educate students on the dangers of drugs and alcohol, appropriate social media use, laws regarding juvenile crime, and other safety topics.
By building these relationships of mutual trust and respect, students are provided the direct opportunity to report activities and crimes they are aware of that impact the safety of their learning environment and the community.
“We appreciate the opportunity to guide and mentor students, to be a sounding board for them as they navigate through the obstacles and challenges they may be facing,” said Chief Keith McPheeters.
NCSD officials have been working diligently with local law enforcement partners to address areas of improvement which support the District Comprehensive Framework for School Safety. Specifically, dedicated efforts have been made to collaborate with community agencies to provide schools with additional resources to ensure safe and healthy learning environments.
Together with the State of Wyoming, NCSD and local law enforcement launched Safe2Tell Wyoming in 2016. The tip line has been a critical tool for students and community members to utilize to confidentially report behaviors that may be harmful or unsafe to oneself or the school environment. Education, awareness, and early intervention to improve school safety are key components of the Safe2Tell Program. Working closely with the Safe2Tell program NCSD School Response Officers (SRO’s) strive to integrate these foundational components into their daily interactions with students.
CPD and NCSD are also partnered in other programs and initiatives such as Caring About Student Success (CASS), facility safety audits, and quarterly analysis.
CPD’s commitment to dedicate these police officers to serve directly in our schools has been an unqualified success. The Casper Police Department looks forward to enhancing the relationship with NCSD as well as improving the ongoing relationship with students in each school.
The Natrona County School District is committed to providing safe and healthy learning environments for students, staff, and school visitors. The Casper Police Department School Resource Officers (SRO’s) serve as an integral resource for ensuring safe and protected school communities.
The Casper Police Department and Natrona County School District will continue working together with students, staff, parents, partner law enforcement agencies, and our community to systematically create an environment that places the safety of all students, staff and school visitors as our top priority.