Information about our Cadet / Explorer Program

This program places full-time police officers on the campuses of 5 Monroe County Schools including: Coral Shores High School, Marathon High School, Plantation Key School, Key Largo School and Sugarloaf School. Each of our veteran officers are liaisons between the Sheriff's Office and the schools.

Monroe County School Resource Officers have partnered with the Monroe County School District to offer the Project Alert program in county schools. Project ALERT is a proven solution — a nationally recognized, 7th & 8th grade, evidence-based program that gives students insight, understanding, and actual skills for resisting substance use. Project ALERT successfully addresses tobacco, alcohol, marijuana and inhalants, the substances teens are most likely to use. For more information about the program, go to www.projectalert.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a School Resource Officer?

The School Resource Officer (SRO) program is a part of the Community Relations Division of the Sheriff's Office and was developed with Community Oriented Policing in mind. The SRO is an asset used by the community and the school in an attempt to address situations in the lives of students without resorting to the judicial system.

School Resource Officers are in place all over the country. Officers are involved in a variety of crime prevention related functions in the schools. In addition to being an active high profile law enforcement officer, the SRO is a resource for students, parents, teachers and administration regarding legal issues. An SRO is also a link to other service agencies who provide preventive and counseling services within the school district. Working hand-in-hand with the principal in each school, the SRO assists with finding solutions to problems affecting today's school age children.

The SRO is a proactive approach to deal with the pressures that today's youth find themselves having to confront. This includes the use of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco, along with peer pressure, gang activity, and sex. These issues exist not only in the schools, but in the community as a whole. .

Are the Schools so bad we need SROs?

This is a question common with parents, teachers, and community leaders. The question is easily answered when you ask yourself the following: Wouldn't you rather send your child to a school where there is an active law enforcement officer on duty, working within the school system, who acts quickly to solve problems? By having highly trained and experienced law enforcement officers in our schools we are providing for the safety and security of students, faculty and visitors.

Through the SRO program, the Monroe County School District and the Monroe County Sheriff's Office are working together to confront problems our students face today. By addressing these issues together pro-actively, we can be even more effective than we would be addressing them separately.

An SRO, if utilized correctly, should be the first line of defense against gangs, drugs, alcohol, and school violence. Through this prevention program and the other prevention and intervention programs in the Sheriff's Office and county schools, it is hoped that Monroe County can resist the nationwide trends hurting our youth and education. Monroe County schools understand and believe we hold the future of youth in our hands.

What do SROs do in the Schools?

The SRO works with the administration, educators, and counselors to make our schools safe. It is the mission of the Sheriff's Office School Resource Program to provide a safe learning environment promoting good health and free from violence, weapons, hazards, vandalism and substance abuse. The role an SRO plays differs on a day to day basis, depending on the changing situation in each school. An SRO can be called upon to enforce, teach, counsel, assist, supervise or direct in order to get the job done.

The duties of an SRO keep him/her very busy. Each of our SROs are assigned a school and all the responsibilities that come with keeping it safe. SROs are also charged with teaching Project Alert, a nationally recognized, 7th & 8th grade, evidence-based program that gives students insight, understanding, and actual skills for resisting substance use. SROs also oversee the Explorer/Cadet Program. This is a youth program for ages 10 -21 and chartered by the Boy Scouts of America. See our Explorer/Cadet page for more information. As you can tell our SROs wear a number of hats and have a great deal of responsibility. Being an SRO is a challenge and takes a dedicated and determined officer that cares about the welfare of children.

Who is my child's SRO and how do I contact them?

If you have any questions or concerns that you would like to address with your child's SRO, please feel free to contact him/her via email, or at the listed number during school hours. One of the most important aspects of the SRO program is the flexibility of the officer to work with others in the Sheriff's Office, and to work with members of the School District to deal with all of the problems faced by our students every day. The SRO works with many agencies such as the Department of Children and Families, Department of Juvenile Justice, Florida Keys Children's Shelter, Florida Sheriff Youth Ranches, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, State Attorney's Office and many others. Many times if we can't answer your question we can direct you to the organization that can.

The basic outline of duties for the SRO are:

1. Preventing crime through education of our communities' children.

2. Coordination and instruction of Drug Education programs in our schools.

3. Maintaining and creating new programs to enhance children's awareness on crime prevention, drug abuse and other concerns.

4. Distributing pamphlets, fliers and newsletters on drug abuse, safety and crime prevention related matters.

5. Holding public and/or private meetings on school related matters, when requested.

6. Participation in school related organizations outside of regular school hours, such as Parent / Teacher Organizations and school sponsored field trips.

7. Any and all other law enforcement functions necessary in the schools.

For additional information regarding the SRO Program contact the program supervisor, Sgt. Glenn Test via email or at 305-797-0062.