Cuero Police Department hires new school resource officer

Officer John White was named the Cuero Police Department's new school resource officer on July 23. He worked for the Victoria Police Department for five years as a school resource officer assigned to Mitchell Guidance Center campus.

Officer John White is the Cuero Police Department's new school resource officer.

White began his career as a law enforcement officer in 2002.

"Safety of our students is my No. 1 priority. They need to feel safe on our campuses and safe in the classroom," White said.

School resource officers were introduced to Cuero school district initially through a collaboration between the Cuero Police Department and the school district in a 1999 US Department of Justice COPS Grant.

In 2008 the CISD SMART Choices program, funded through a Safe Schools/Healthy Students federal grant, continued the collaboration and added a second SRO.

As these funds have been phased out, an interlocal agreement between the two institutions continues the partnership, which provides a safe school environment and law enforcement visibility throughout the district as a positive role model to deter crime and delinquency.

White attended Victoria College Police Academy and was a patrol officer for Cuero Police Department until 2005.

He received his SRO certification in Galveston through a rigorous curriculum provided through the state. He worked for the Victoria Police Department for five years as a school resource officer assigned to Mitchell Guidance Center campus.

"I'm glad to be back," he remarked.

The department will hire a second school resource officer. One will be based at the high school and cover both the high school and junior high campuses.

The other will work with the pre-kindergarten through sixth-grade campuses.

"We want to be visible and be proactive in the community," said Sgt. Sam Saunders, Community Services Division of the Cuero Police Department.

He is also developing a specialized education pilot program to be launched in the Cuero school district in 2013-14.

"I believe our CISD school resource officer has a positive impact on our student body as he gets to know our kids and relates to them on a personal level," said school district superintendent Jim Haley.