New Hanover County expanded their
School Resource Officer (SRO)
program in 1997. This project has
been very successful. As of now, we
have 22 full time SROs. The
purpose of the School
Resource Officer is to
be a peace officer by
maintaining security and
order on campus with the
legal authority to
arrest if required.
The SRO is a resource
officer in areas of Law
that can be applied to
When asked, the SRO
on a variety of subjects
from substance abuse,
youth and violence,
gangs, motor vehicle law
and safe driving,
juvenile law, etc. and
is available to the
faculty of their school
to address student
Finally, the SRO can and does play the role as counselor, by
mediating, listening and assisting students with various
problems. This approach enables the SRO to be a positive Law
Enforcement role model and use proactive prevention by exposing
the human qualities of law enforcement to our youth and giving
them a trustworthy friend to depend on.
The SRO unit is now teaching the G.R.E.A.T. program to the 5th
grades. The G.R.E.A.T.
curriculum is a skills-based
curriculum designed to produce
behavioral changes through the use
of innovative teaching techniques. The
curriculum has integrated National
Learning English Language Arts
Standards and National Health
Standards and is based on effective
research practices. G.R.E.A.T.
lessons focus on providing life
skills to students to help them
avoid using delinquent behavior and
violence to solve problems.
During the summer, SROs participate
in the ‘S.A.F.E. Summer Program’.
In this program, the SROs work
hand-in-hand with rising 6th
grade students who graduated the
The ‘S.A.F.E. Summer Program’
teaches children to have a fun summer
without drugs and violence. It
also gives the students an opportunity to
interact and have fun with the
Deputies on a casual basis, creating
a greater bond between them and law
During Christmas time, the SRO Unit
does a program called ‘Make a Child
Smile’. We ask the counselors or
social workers from our elementary
schools for the names of needy
children. The SRO Unit adopts these
children out to other county
employees and individuals who
receive a list with the child’s age,
sex, sizes and a preferred gift.
Then, one night close to Christmas,
we invite the selected children and
their families to join us. We
provide refreshments and soon after
everyone finishes, Santa arrives!
He always brings his favorite book
“Twas the Night Before Christmas” to
read to the children. After this,
Santa calls each child up one at a
time and presents them with their
very special Christmas gifts.
Both Make a Child Smile and S.A.F.E.
Summer are made possible through
donations, the hard work of the SROs
and the support of Sheriff McMahon.
If you have any questions about the
SRO Unit or would like to donate to
Make a Child Smile or S.A.F.E.
Summer, please contact us at
910-798-4227 or 910-798-4226.