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Do You Know Our SRO?

By Sarrah Cochran

Officer David Layman used to walk the halls of Waynesboro High School with a backpack and a jacket. Now he walks the halls with a badge and a flak vest.

Layman is the School Resource Officer (SRO) here at WHS. Much like a regular patrol officer, SROs help the community while being in the educational atmosphere of a school.  “I volunteered for the SRO position when it became available five years ago.  I was granted the SRO position by the Chief of Police,” says Layman.

Layman volunteered to be an SRO because he always had an interest in the educational system and being a school resource officer would give him the opportunity to serve the community while working in an educational setting.  He was assigned to Wayne Hills Preschool Center, Westwood Hills Elementary School, Berkley Glenn Elementary School, and Waynesboro High School when he volunteered to be an SRO. Working at an elementary school is very similar to working at a high school, as there are barely any changes in the duties. Rather than listening to high school students and staff that come to Layman with problems, he could answer questions from elementary schoolers who want to know about what it’s like to be a police officer.

Having a School Resource Officer is not required by any federal law. The Waynesboro Public School System has an SRO assigned to each school. Layman has many different tasks throughout the day. “Many times daily his guidance is sought by students or faculty who have questions concerning problems they are having or situations of concern. Often he just serves as an ear for someone who is going through a difficult time or needs someone to talk to. Another of his duties is to serve as an adviser to the administration on matters of security, safety and crime prevention, and he is often asked to instruct students or staff on special topics such as traffic law, underage drinking, or emergency procedures related to an incident in the school environment,” said Commander Kelly Walker of the Waynesboro Police Department. Layman listens to issues that the students and staff of WHS are concerned about, and he just listens. Layman is a highly trained police officer, which means he is prepared to deal with any task at hand. According to NASRO, the National Association of School Resource Officers, all SROs are required to take a course which will prepare them to deal with students. A part of the training is a course that deals specifically with bullying.

Some SROs help teach lessons in classes. Layman helps out mainly in the driver’s education classes. He helps teach about the dangers of driving distracted and the dangers of driving in Waynesboro. “He [Layman] typically talks about reckless driving and discusses laws and penalties regarding using alcohol. The students usually get a chance to ask him any questions they have, and he goes over a field sobriety test and implied consent laws. I think it is good to hear from someone in his position and to have him share some of his experiences,” said Coach Kevin Loker, a WHS physical education and driver’s education teacher. Layman has been helping out in the Driver’s Ed classes for four years. The driver’s education classes try to prepare students for driving. Layman has also helped out a math teacher, Mr. Wright, by attending a field trip to James Madison University with the math class.

Officer Layman works hard each and every day while maintaining a friendly relationship with people around Waynesboro High School. He sits in on first lunch and always has someone talking to him, whether it be student or staff. Next time you see Officer Layman, thank him for all he does!

 

Citation:

1- National Association of School Resource Officers, NASRO, https://nasro.org/basic-sro-course/ Accessed 10 Nov. 2016.

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