School Resource Officers
In 1996 the Westfield Police Department started the school resource officer program. An officer was permanently assigned to Westfield High School to work with the students and faculty. The program has since expanded and there are currently three resource officers; one at Westfield High School, one at Westfield Technical Academy, and one who divides his time between the Intermediate School and the MIddle School. Resource officers are permanently assigned to specific schools in order for the School Resource Officers (SRO) to develop relationships, familiarize themselves with the unique histories and issues at each school, and overall provide more effective police service.
Role of the SRO
(Adapted from the 2022 School Resource Officer Memorandum of Understanding)
The mission is to facilitate relationship-building by the SRO such that students, faculty, staff, and community members see the SRO as contributing to a positive school climate.
The SRO will promote school safety, help maintain a positive school climate for all students, families, and staff, enhance cultural understanding between students and law enforcement, promote school participation and completion by students, facilitate appropriate information sharing, and inform the collaborative relationship between Westfield Public Schools and the Westfield Police Department to best serve the school community.
Under state law, the SRO shall not serve as school disciplinarian, enforcer of school regulations, or in place of licensed school psychologists, psychiatrists, or counselors, or use police powers to address traditional school discipline issues including non-violent disruptive behavior.
For student conduct that requires immediate intervention to maintain safety (whether or not the conduct involves criminal conduct), the SRO may act to de-escalate the immediate situation (where feasible) and to protect the physical safety of members of the school community. To this end, school personnel may request the presence of the SRO when they have a reasonable and articulable fear of an imminent threat to their safety or the safety of students or other personnel.
The SRO is available to the school community as an instructor to students, faculty, or parents in fields related to law enforcement as well as in fields where the officer may have an interest or expertise.
Additionally, the SRO, through his on-the-job experience, has a wealth of information with regard to agencies, both public and private, that a student, parent or faculty member may draw on. The SRO is a source of information for students, parents and school staff and makes himself available for consultations with individuals or groups. The SRO makes connections between social service agencies and students, their families, or faculty should the need present itself.
Commend or Concern
If you would like to commend a school resource officer for something they have accomplished, the way they handled a situation, or for some other reason, you can do so by clicking the following link and filling out the online form. Commend an Officer
If you have a concern, or a question about how an SRO handled a situation please take a moment to fill out our online Conflict Resolution Form. Once completed, this form will be submitted to the SRO's police supervisor and the Superintendent of Schools. The situation will be looked into by both the school department and police department. Conflict Resolution Form