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LATHROP SAFETY Lathrop Police will still staff SROs at Academies

The Lathrop Police Department will continue to provide school resource officers for the River Islands Academies through at least the end of this school year.

Earlier this week the Lathrop City Council voted to approve the agreement between the City of Lathrop and the River Island Academies to provide two School Resource Officers to help ensure the safety of local campuses and build relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

The City of Lathrop currently employs four school resource officers – sworn law enforcement officers tasked with protecting students and staff at campuses across the city – and assigns a pair of them on a rotating basis to work in River Islands at the public academies that serve students in that area.

The River Islands Academies are comprised of the River Islands Technology Academy (RiTechA), the STEAM Academy at River Islands, the EPIC Academy, and River Islands High School – all of which are public schools.

While Lathrop has historically had SRO positions that were filled by San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Deputies assigned to the Lathrop Police Services contracted operation, the city has been able to prioritize the positions within its current budget cycle and put resources where the community feels they are the most beneficial.

“Having an SRO on campus enhances student and staff safety and fosters positive relationships between law enforcement and the school community,” the City of Lathrop wrote in the staff report prepared for the council.

Earlier this year the Lathrop Police joined forces with the Lathrop Manteca Fire District and other EMS agencies and personnel to conduct a training at Lathrop High School to practice what first responders would do in the event of a mass casualty incident at a local school – work intended to prevent confusion during the harrowing early minutes of such an emergency and ensure that resources and efforts are not duplicated, and that a chain of command exists to prevent confusion.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, America had approximately 23,400 sworn SRO positions across the country at the end of the 2019/20 school year, and almost 70 percent of them had responded to an incident inside of a classroom within the 30 days before they were polled.

To contact Bulletin reporter Jason Campbell email