FRANKLIN COUNTY – The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office has formed a School Resource Officer program.
According to a press release, the program’s goal is to maintain a safe learning environment and build positive relationships with students, parents, educators, and school administrators. The sheriff’s office said they believe that positive police presence in schools will greatly reduce violence, acts of physical aggression, and other safety related issues.
Officials noted that numerous school facilities and municipal police departments throughout Franklin County have already established School Resource Officer programs, however, not all Franklin County Schools have dedicated SRO’s. The sheriff office’s said their goal is to not only work in cooperation with those established SRO programs, but to also expand SRO services to those rural schools not currently covered.
The sheriff’s office said in the coming months and years, the sheriff’s office hopes to grow the program to ensure that every Franklin County School has a full time SRO placed within each learning facility.
Deputy Sheriff Ron Howard was recently hired to serve as the first School Resource Deputy and has been tasked with assisting in the establishment and growth of the program.
Deputy Howard previously served as a West Frankfort Police Officer and recently retired after 29 years of service. Deputy Howard has extensive law enforcement training and was recently recognized by the Illinois Police Training and Standards Board as a Certified School Resource Officer.
Deputy Howard will work to establish relationships with existing SRO Programs and serve as the SRO and Sheriff’s Office Liaison for rural schools not currently covered.