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Mayor Simison Announces Deployment of School Resource Officers in Meridian Elementary Schools

Mayor Simison Announces Deployment of SROs to Meridian Elementary Schools
 
MERIDIAN – Following-up on Mayor Simison’s 2022 State of the City address, the Meridian Police Department deployed six new School Resource Officers (SROs) to Meridian elementary schools in January of 2023. Each new SRO is assigned to three elementary schools within a geographical area. They bring enhanced services to our elementary schools and allow existing resources to be solely focused on needs at the high and middle school levels.
 
These new positions were proposed by Mayor Simison following the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas where nineteen (19) children and two teachers were killed.
 
“Safety is our number one priority in Meridian, and work is being done with our law enforcement and the school district to help stem potential acts of violence, but we need to do more now,” said Mayor Simison during his State of the City on June 1, 2022.
 
“I am grateful to City Council who also saw the need and approved these officers, for the men and women of Meridian Police Department who put this request into reality, and the partnership with the West Ada School District,” said Simison today. 
 
Meridian City Council approved funding for the requested additional officers in August 2022. All six SROs have since been fully trained and deployed across Meridian elementary schools.
 
“Keeping our schools safe has always been a priority for the Meridian Police Department. The six additional SROs just highlights our commitment as a city, and it provides the opportunity for positive interactions with our police officers and our young kids to foster healthy relationships between youth and police,” said Police Chief Tracy Basterrechea. “We are very proud of our relationship with the West Ada School District and excited for the opportunity to further serve our community.”
 
The Meridian Police Department in partnership with West Ada School District currently has nineteen (19) school resource officers dedicated to supporting Meridian Schools. The SROs work closely with the schools, as well as the youth in our community through education, prevention and enforcement. The SRO duties consist of filing investigative and other required reports or documents; patrolling; providing security at specified sporting events and also, maintaining building security, controlling traffic, and enforcing traffic laws.  When necessary, they also investigate and work to prevent crimes against persons or property, identifying and arresting violators of state and local laws. In the summer, SROs are assigned to the Juvenile Enforcement Team (JET) that work varying shifts with an emphasis on swing shift (4:00pm - 2:00am). In addition, the SROs are involved in youth education programming, working directly with youth and community organizations, and mentoring the youth throughout the community so that the city of Meridian can remain one of the premier cities to live, work, and raise a family. To learn more about Meridian’s SRO Program, visit our website at www.meridiancity.org/sro.
 
students walking to school with SRO School Resource Officer passing out lunches at a school in Meridian

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Stephany Galbreaith

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