Since 1998, the Leesburg Police Department has had a police presence in the Middle and High Schools located within the Town of Leesburg. In 2012, officers are assigned to Smarts Mill Middle School, J.L. Simpson Middle School, Harper Park Middle School, Heritage High School, Loudoun County High School, and Tuscarora High School. In addition to their regularly assigned schools, each SRO is assigned secondary responsibilities at elementary schools and specialty schools within the Town.
The presence of a School Resource Officer, armed and in uniform, ensures a timely response to any criminal behavior, or better yet, deters the criminal behavior from taking place. Students and faculty are better protected from violence and can pursue their educational activities in a secure and orderly environment. When requested, the School Resource Officer will instruct classes in such topics as crime prevention, substance abuse and driver safety. They also provide information on legal issues, and promote positive relationships and a better understanding between youth and police officers.
Many in the law enforcement community have realized the advantages of a close and positive working relationship with their local schools. Interaction among police officers, students, faculty and administrators helps to produce an understanding of the police officer’s role and the criminal justice system. The Leesburg Police Department’s School Resource Officer program seeks to maximize these advantages by placing officers in requested schools during all normal hours of school operation.
During the summer months when school is not in session, the SRO’s run the Leesburg Police Department Junior Police Camp at the police department targeting middle school aged children. Topics of instruction include team building, leadership, conflict resolution, character education, physical fitness, juvenile law, and police procedures such as fingerprinting and evidence collection.
For more information or to contact the School Resource Unit and the officers assigned to the schools in Leesburg, please contact Lieutenant Wesley Thompson.