Dutchess Sheriff trains cops to protect school children

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Dutchess Sheriff Kirk Imperati addressing new School Resource Officers.

POUGHKEEPSIE – Dutchess County Sheriff Kirk Imperati, credited with developing the School Resource Officer (SRO) program for the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO), addressed the newest SRO candidates who are taking the SRO course this week.

On Tuesday Imperati spoke to the candidates in the 40-hour class for veteran cops and said, “It’s important to develop relationships between the students and law enforcement to build trust.  The Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office SRO training stresses the importance of developing relationships with the students and stressing that School Resource Officers and law enforcement in general, are working to protect the kids and their families.”

The SRO course, under the guidelines of the State Division of Criminal Justice Services, is conducted by the DCSO and provides new SROs with the foundation to be a successful school resource officer.  “We help officers build skills to develop partnerships with kids, learn the state juvenile laws, and emergency response techniques in school settings,” said Imperati.  “I have been involved in the SRO program in Dutchess County since 2000 and it is imperative that new SROs provide a safe learning environment for the students entrusted to them.”

There are 20 police officers from 10 different police agencies attending the course hosted by Imperati’s office.  Officers from the New York State Police, Town of Poughkeepsie, East Fishkill, Marlborough, and Hyde Park Police Departments have provided veteran SROs to Imperati to assist in training the new SROs.
Imperati was tasked with developing the DCSO Scholl Resource Officer program in 2000 and told Mid-Hudson News, “My office is always available to help school districts in keeping children safe.  We are expanding our SRO program to Dutchess County school districts this year and look forward to giving parents the peace of mind knowing that our SROs are protecting our children.”