School Resource Division
The School Resource Deputy Program is a proactive, innovative, problem-solving approach to assist in reducing crime by assigning specially trained certified Deputy Sheriffs to each middle school, freshman campus, and high school in the county. The program follows a national trend in responding to the increase of violence on school campuses to not only students but to school administration. The goal is to offer a safe environment so students can learn and achieve without the fear of violence.
The SRD program is a nationally accepted program involving the placement of a law enforcement officer within the educational environment. The officer's role is more, than being a very active high profile law enforcement officer and includes being a resource for other law enforcement officers, detectives, family services investigators, students, parents, teachers, and school administration regarding law-related issues.
While the primary duty is to reduce crime and violence in schools, SRDs often find themselves teaching classes, counseling students, and being a mentor to students at school. Besides working with individual students, SRDs also assist in community policing in the area surrounding the school. Some examples of community policing problem-solving involve traffic issues, noise complaints, drug sales, and safety in nearby parks and business areas.
The presence of a uniformed Deputy Sheriff provides a deterrent to criminal activity by discouraging unwanted and undesirable visitors on the school grounds or in the surrounding area.
The Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office has five school resource deputies, a sergeant, and a lieutenant, covering ten schools including elementary schools in the county. The deputies are assigned to a school to be a direct link between the schools and any issue that may need the assistance of law enforcement.