School Resource Officer

3.24.21 - Click here to read the recent memorandum to Winooski School District Trustees.

What is a School Resource Officer (SRO)?

One of the Winooski Police Department’s (WPD) highest priorities is the safety of our students, educators, staff, and visitors. One of the ways we provide that safety is by assigning a School Resource Officer (SRO). SROs are not disciplinarians and do not take the place of counselors, nor can counselors assume the role of an SRO. National trends have shown increases in threats and disruption to students and staff through the outlets of social media platforms and other electronic means. Acts of criminality and violence such as drug use in and around schools, domestic violence, and school shootings have also become an unfortunate reality. These are situations that require an SRO. The goal of the WPD’s SRO program is to foster a collaborative community relationship with students, families, and staff of the Winooski School District, to be approachable, and to help our community grow and nurture the future of our City.  

Triad (2) Opens in new windowWPD has long adopted best practice policies and training as endorsed by the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO). The model for the SRO is known as the NASRO Triad, including components of teaching, education, counseling, mentoring, and law enforcement. WPD's SRO program has served Winooski by helping students and families navigate difficult and deeply personal issues for over 20 years. Our SROs exercise sensitivity and use restorative justice practices when responding to situations that legally mandate law enforcement intervention. Our philosophy has always been to apply a holistic approach and partner with the numerous agencies and stakeholders that respond to crisis and crime that affect children: counselors and teachers need a highly-trained direct contact and a familiar face. 

SRO Duties

  • investigating matters of a crime (vandalism, theft, drugs, etc.)
  • active membership on the Public Safety Committee
  • responding to and developing crisis planning for active shooter/critical safety incidents
  • advising school staff with up-to-date required mandated reporting 
  • providing emergency and social service referrals to at-risk youth
  • counseling those with deeply personal questions regarding crime
  • networking with regional partners to provide external services
  • managing “warm hand-offs” for families and children in need
  • facilitating the services of our Community Outreach Team
  • implementing de-escalation and restorative justice practices
  • teaching drug and alcohol abuse prevention (i.e. DARE program)
  • performing traffic control/pedestrian safety during student drop off and pick up
  • exemplifying a role model position
  • building trust and familiarity with WPD services
  • facilitating discussions about police, race, injustice, and systemic change

It is also worth noting what an SRO can't do. SROs can't:

  • make disciplinary decisions regarding student behavior
  • expel, suspend, or discipline students/staff
  • proactively patrol for making student/staff arrests

SROs must have the patience, knowledge, experience, and demeanor necessary to work with Winooski's diverse population and are committed to protecting the future of our children. SROs have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to racism, bullying, and intimidation. 

SRO Professional Development

Foundations of 
Law Enforcement
Ethics & School LawDe-escalation and Conflict resolutionSupporting Students with Special NeedsCounseling
& Mentoring
Social Media & Cyber SecurityUnderstanding the Teen BrainTeaching, Guest Speaking, and Effective Presentations
Violence, Victimization, and Threat ResponsePreventing Violence in School SettingsSexual Assault
and Domestic Violence
Sex TraffickingEffects of Youth Trends and Drugs on the School Culture and Environment
Developing and Supporting Successful Relationships with Diverse Students

Crime Prevention Through Environmental DesignSchool Safety and Emergency Operations Plans
Health/WellnessTeam 2 Mental Health  Crisis Intervention Team Training (CIT)LGBTQ+Child and Adolescent Cognitive DevelopmentSuicide Awareness and PreventionDevelopmental Trauma: Students Exposed to Toxic Stress


D.A.R.E. Program   

D.A.R.E. is taught to the entire Winooski School District with a focus on the 2nd and 5th grade classes in partnership with their Health Class.

D.A.R.E.’s elementary, middle, and high school curricula, as well as its enhancement lessons on subjects that include bullying, internet safety, and over-the-counter prescription drug and opiates abuse, have been developed through partnerships with highly respected universities and prevention education experts.  Each curriculum has been developed and approved under the guidance of D.A.R.E. America’s Scientific Advisory Committee chaired by Richard Clayton, Ph.D. After a review that considered multiple criteria, D.A.R.E. America partnered with Pennsylvania State University to develop and adopt the 'keepin’ it REALdrug prevention curriculum.



Jason Ziter

School Resource Officer

802 655 0221 / 

Winooski School Resource Officer and Students at School