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Home » Press Releases » 2010 News Archive » Mayor Brown Announces Expanded School Resource Officers Unit

Mayor Brown Announces Expanded School Resource Officers Unit

Unit Expanded to Provide Greater Support to School Safety and Security

BUFFALO –Mayor Byron W. Brown today announced that his Administration has expanded the School Resource Officer Unit to provide greater support to Buffalo Public School safety and security activities throughout the city.

“The expansion of this unit was in direct response to concerns we heard expressed by students, parents, teachers and school administrators,” said Mayor Brown. “It is imperative that we ensure that our school children are safe and secure both within the schools they attend and outside of school while travel from home and back each day. Since the expansion of this unit only a few months ago, I am pleased that they have had an immediate impact on supporting the safety of our school children.”

Housed in a former Buffalo public school (#40) at 89 Clare Street, the members of the unit consist of the Chief of School Safety and Security, one Lieutenant and ten School Resource Officers. Additional support consists of two off-duty officers assigned to Bennett HS (daily), two off-duty officers assigned to East HS (Daily), one BPS supervisor, three attendance teachers, one nurse and one school psychologist.

“This is a concerted effort on the part of the Buffalo Police Department, at the direction of the Mayor, to make the city’s school children as safe and as secure as possible every day they attend school,” said Buffalo Police Department Commissioner Daniel Derenda. “We have literally expanded the footprint of the Buffalo Police Department out into the community and I’m very pleased with the immediate impact the unit has had throughout the school district.”

The unit’s duties include: Assist BPS Administrators, principals, teachers and staff in maintaining order within schools and BPS facilities; work cooperatively with BPS school security officers and the BPS Security Director; respond to calls for service at schools; provide mentoring to at-risk students; provide mediation for students and their families stemming from on-going conflicts; assist the Supervisor of Attendance and attendance teachers with truancy matters; monitor gang activity in schools; provide intervention and preventative measures for students involved in gang activity or in danger of becoming involved; provide police presence at student arrivals and dismissals; build a rapport with students and BPS personnel; provide police presence at after school events; assist BPS personnel in conducting random weapons searches; give in-school presentations to the students on a variety of topics.

Superintendent of Buffalo Public Schools Dr. James A. Williams says, “Our goal, through the Attendance Support Center, is to reconnect disengaged students with the school system through recovery, screening and placement. The objective is to keep students in school until they can complete their education for their own benefit and that of the community they live in. The Attendance Support center will go a long way in helping us to meet that goal.”

The SROs have been active in locating truants and returning them to the Truancy Center where they meet with school nurses and counselors to determine the underlying reasons for their absences.