More School Resource Officers Wanted In Washington County

PRAIRIE GROVE (KFSM) — School resource officers (SRO) in two Washington County school districts explained Thursday (March 1) that they would like to see more officers working to make sure students stay safe.

Corporal David Faulk is the current and only SRO for Prairie Grove.

He works with about 2,000 students everyday across three different buildings.

The Prairie Grove Police Department and the school district are looking at possibly bring more officers on to help Faulk.

“As we speak, there are meetings that are happening and have been happening on the idea on whether or not we need a second SRO and potentially even a third SRO so that we have an armed police officer in all three buildings," Faulk said.

Making sure the buildings are locked are only just a part of what Faulk and other SROs do.

Lt. Chad Parrish worked with the schools for about 15 years in Farmington.

Building a relationship with the students is another big part of what a SRO does on a daily basis.

"When they need a cop, hopefully they are going to trust the police officers in the long run from the relationships they develop with us," Parrish said.

To build that trust, Parrish and Faulk hold various program with the students.

Faulk explained every Thursday morning with some of the younger students and will even just talk about his job in classes.

All of this is just a benefit to the job for him as he focuses on his main priority.

“If I can make an arrest or if I can stop a kid from having a joint in the school, whatever, all of those are just details to keep me busy," Faulk said. "There is one priority and that’s that these kids go home to mom and dad everyday.”

Both districts teach active shooter civilian response training, also known as ALICE, to the students.

One of the bigger obstacles that makes it harder to get another SRO for Prairie Grove Faulk said is the budget.

Even if they are unable to get a dedicated officer, he explained other officers will still stop by occasionally to help our or eat lunch with the kids.

Parrish said he too would like to see more officers to help out, but did not say if this will change in the near future.