Meetings start at 8:30 a.m. and end by 10:00 a.m. Gather early for coffee and conversation.
Do we really know that much about school resource officers? Probably not. This Saturday Weston Kiwanis will bring a fifteen-year veteran of the Weston Police Department to speak to us, the community, about his service, as the first Weston school resource officer (SRO).
School resource officers have been in existence since 1953, when Flint, Michigan provided the first documented SRO to their community. The topic was not broadly discussed until 1968 when the Fresno, California Police Department looked to the school resource officer program as a tool to “revitalize its image in the eyes of its youth”. This early adaptation of the program involved placing plain-clothed officers in the middle and elementary schools to foster the relationship that the department had with the youth, which continues to be a goal of the program.
SROs are typically employed by a local police or sheriff's agency and work closely with administrators in an effort to create a safer environment for both students and staff. The responsibilities of SROs are similar to regular police officers in that they have the ability to make arrests, respond to calls for service, and document incidents that occur within their jurisdiction. School resource officers typically have additional duties to include mentoring and conducting presentations on youth-related issues.
Here's a glimpse of what Joe Mogollon brings to that position:
My name is Officer Joe Mogollon and I have been a member of the Weston Police Department since 2005. I was chosen in 2016 by the Weston Police Chief to become the first school resource officer for the Weston Public Schools. As an integral member of the Weston Public Schools, I serve as a liaison between the police department, faculty, and students. My goal is to foster a spirit of cooperation and trust by building relationships, connecting youth with services, providing education geared toward positive behavior, and coordinating district safety plans.
At the beginning of my police career, we began dealing with the new issue of Social Media that was in its infancy stage. I was very interested in this new type of technology. I joined the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and was invited to participate in cybercrimes training with the FBI. In 2011, the local Secret Service office sponsored me to attend the National Computer Forensics Institute in Hoover, Alabama, where I learned how to do through computer forensics investigations. I am a certified computer forensics examiner and serve with the Technical Investigations Unit of Southwest Connecticut. This unit, comprised of investigators from towns and cities in Fairfield County, processes a variety of computer crime cases across the county.
On Saturday I will be discussing the SRO Program and how it has been integrated into the schools. I will discuss the different programs that have been implemented for the students as well as future programs.