An agreement with the City of Garden Grove to expand the School Resource Officer program, increasing police resources and school safety was approved by the Garden Grove Unified School District Board of Education on Tuesday.
The Garden Grove City Council unanimously approved the agreement earlier, during the June 11 regular City Council meeting.
The SRO program will now include specially-selected and trained full-time sworn police officers. In addition to providing active law enforcement for GGUSD schools, the sworn officers will provide classroom education, hold monthly meetings with district administrators, assist in emergency disaster protocols, serve as a resource to GGUSD students, and work closely with the Boys and Girls Club of Garden Grove through their Family Youth Outreach Program.
“As board members and as parents, safe schools is our number one priority” said Lan Nguyen, board president. “The upgraded school resource officer program is another layer of protection for our district’s approximately 43,000 students. A specially trained school officer embedded into the school community will be extremely effective at cultivating relationships, trust, and confidence with staff and students and will help detect safety issues before they occur.”
Garden Grove Mayor Steve Jones commended the strong relationship between the City and GGUSD saying, “We are truly fortunate to have a very positive, cooperative, and collaborative relationship with our school district. We’re working on a lot of projects together with a very positive vibe and a shared vision.”
The city will cover the cost of one police sergeant and two police officers with the district funding one officer in 2019, with the program growing in its first three years. The initial terms of the agreement extends through 2022.
According to Garden Grove Police Chief Tom DaRé, the sworn officers will be Garden Grove Police Department employees, and are part of the City’s program to hire additional police officers. With the expanded SRO program, the number of sworn Garden Grove Police officers will total 182.
“It’s important that we have highly-trained officers on the front lines of school safety and this new agreement will do just that,” said Teri Rocco, board vice president.
District administrators will work with the GGPD during the testing and hiring process of assigned School Resource Officers and will work together to evaluate the effectiveness of the program and officers.
“This collaboration with the city and the police department will create a new student-centered way to ensure safe and welcoming schools in keeping with our commitment to Resolution 20,” said Walter Muneton, board of education trustee. “I am glad that district staff will be involved in the day-to-day implementation of this program and provide valuable feedback to ensure the program stays committed to its purpose.”