Deputy Jeffry Woods

What Are SROs Doing for Our Schools?

The Columbine High School massacre in April of 1999, resulted in the death of 12 students and one teacher and is considered one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history. Since then, School Resource Officers (SROs) have had an increased appearance in schools across the nation. Dead set with the goals of giving students and staff members a sense of security, bringing the community together and offering counseling to students in need, schools are making new efforts to protect and serve students with SRO’s.

Deputy Jeffry Woods has been La Pine’s SRO for three years, with 12 years of experience as the employer of the Sheriff’s Office. Being one of La Pine’s only SROs, he is constantly visiting all the schools within the community in an effort to make sure that every student gets the security and counseling that they need to prosper in an academic environment. Unfortunately, no deputy or police officer is permitted to stay an SRO forever. As every two years — with the exception of a one year extension — officers are on a mandatory rotation that puts them back in their original roles as a police officer. 

This doesn’t mean the officers are punished with their assignment. “I’d like to keep doing this for as long as I can…out of all the different jobs I’ve done in the sheriff’s office, this is the one I enjoy the most,” said Deputy Woods. 

Deputy Woods became an SRO during the COVID-19 pandemic, so his initial experience was a little bit different from what an SRO would normally do. Rather than roaming school-grounds, he would instead visit students’ houses in order to help out with online schooling issues and offer resources to families in need. 

After the pandemic, things returned to business as usual. Deputy Woods said, “I’m very busy being the only SRO for four schools.” The amount of work that comes with being an SRO can be a lot, but is necessary for keeping schools and students safe.

SRO’s play a key role in schools all over the country and by offering counseling and security to students in need, they create a safe learning environment for students and communities alike. Deputy Woods is one of many SRO’s that follow this triad of being “An educator, a counselor and law enforcer,” a motto created by the National SRO Organization to model the collective capabilities and goals that SRO’s share as a whole. Deputy Woods has since retired from his duty as an SRO but can still be found hanging around campus and ensuring the safety of students on their way to class and on their academic journeys.