PSO Encourages Positive Choices

School Resource Officers with the Pasco Sheriff’s Office do more than just provide a law enforcement presence at schools. SROs help their students in many ways each day and care deeply about the community they serve. By providing helpful information in an engaging way, SROs connect with students and encourage them make positive choices.

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SROs recently led students in discussions of both good and bad actions and reactions. Cpl. Kay spoke with Crews Lake Middle School students about making good decisions for a positive future. These decisions including safe cell phone use, attending class, making good grades and good social activities such as sports and volunteering. Additionally, students and SROs discussed the consequences of bad choices. Cpl. Beldon spoke at a school assembly for Thomas E. Weightman Middle School students about the impacts of vaping, fighting, sexting and possessing contraband items. 

During Red Ribbon Week, SROs encouraged students to make the choice to be drug-free, though several activities including themed dress-up days, guest speakers and more. At West Pasco Education Academy, Cpl. Macdougall discussed ways to “Just Say No” when offered harmful substances, and hosted drug and vape fact trivia in several classes. During lunch, West Pasco Education Academy students could wear googles simulating different impairment levels. It was an eye-opening experience for students! John Long Middle School 6th graders attended presentations from Cpl. Demas and K9 Dobies, a narcotics detection K9. Sgt. Jones also conducted presentations about making smart choices for all John Long Middle School 8th grade students. Wendell Krinn High School’s homecoming week coincided with Red Ribbon Week and students wore red to highlight their choice of being drug-free.

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SROs also discuss the consequences of making threats, whether in person or online, and how to report threats if they see or hear them. Threats have consequences, even if they are made as a joke. PSO investigates all threats we’re made aware of. We urge students not to share threats on social media, but instead report them. For PSO, tips can be reported by calling the PSO Crime Tips Line at 1-800-706-2488, or online at

Online safety and safe cell phone use is important for students and SROs shared information on safe and appropriate online behavior with students. PSO recommends parents and guardians stay aware of what apps students are using. PSO’s SROs have compiled apps parents and guardians should know about to aid in this. It’s important that students are careful about who they trust, as it’s easy for predators to pretend online. Additionally, having conversations about online dangers and preparing students with the valuable information they need to protect themselves are important ways to prevent them from becoming victims.

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Making sure students are safe is our priority, and a true community effort. Recently Pasco Sheriff’s Office SROs held “See Something Say Something” discussions about suspicious activity with students. SROs shared how students should report anything suspicious to a trusted adult, and how to properly report crimes and tips. Steps students and families can take to help keep our schools and communities safe are:

  • Be Aware. Listen, look and pay attention to the people and places surrounding you.
  • Follow your intuition. If you feel uneasy about something, talk with a trusted adult  about the situation.
  • Report it. Reporting suspicious behavior and activity is not tattling or gossiping. Providing information early, either directly or anonymously, can help prevent harm to others.
  • Know what to report. Share what or who you saw, when you saw it, where the activity occurred and why it is suspicious.

SROs educated students on proper reporting methods for each situation. If you’re in danger or witness an emergency, call 911. If you need to report something that is not an active crime or emergency, call the Pasco Sheriff’s Non-Emergency Line at 727-847-8102, option 7. Early reporting provides additional information that can stop or resolve a crime. Even the smallest tip can aid an investigation.

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SROs support students and the communities we serve through education. Additionally, everyone can play a role in keeping our students safe by staying apprised of what students are doing online and what apps they’re using. PSO’s SROs will continue to serve not only as a law enforcement presence at schools, but also as mentors, coaches and educators.

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