SRO Program Makes Bowie School Campuses Safe

Clay County Sheriff Kenny Lemons is making school security a top priority and has been holding several meetings throughout the county in hopes of starting a new program to make schools safer.

But some schools already have a similar program in place, including the Bowie ISD.

And it has been for 10 years.

The School Resource Officer program, SRO is what makes students in the Bowie school district feel more secure and it's that feeling that school officials say makes all the difference.

He secures doors.

And walks the hallways of school campuses.

Since 2002 officer Bob Blackburn has played a vital role for Bowie's school security as the School Resource Officer, and school officials say his presence alone makes a big impact.

"When they drive up and see his car in the parking lot and see a police officer walking around that sure is a deterrent," said Kelly Shackelford, Bowie High School Principal.

A deterrent to keep crime and violence away.

But making rounds on school campuses isn't all he does.

"There is a lot of interaction with the kids that is proactive instead of just reactive," Officer Blackburn said.

He spends much of his time with students, and it's those relationships he says gives students and their parents a little piece of mind.

"You ask them are you safe. And we ask them do you feel safe? And generally most of the kids in this building would say yes they feel safe, but if they don't feel safe, then they are not safe," Blackburn said.

Which is why he makes his presence known.

Blackburn is the 5th grader's DARE officer and instructs a high school "Crime in America" course for juniors and seniors

And though Bowie schools haven't experienced any serious threats, school officials say the SRO program has helped keep their campuses safe rather than sorry later.

"It's one of those deals where you hope you don't need him, it's a deal where you don't realize you need him till something happens," said Shackelford.

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