With a shared priority of safety, Phillips 66 has partnered with the Bartlesville Public Schools to fund, through the Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation, a grant to support equipment and training for the district’s growing School Resource Officer (SRO) program.
The district currently has six officers in place, with three additional officers to be hired in the upcoming months, for a total of nine school resource officers ‒ one will be stationed at each of Bartlesville’s nine school campuses. The SRO program’s goal is to ensure student safety, provide valuable resources to school staff, foster positive relationships with students, and give students strategies to resolve problems. Most of the funding will be used to cover the costs of training for the SROs. All SROs will attend National Association of School Resource Officer training and the Oklahoma Association of School Resource Officers Conference, both of which are specifically designed to equip officers with the training to fulfill their role in a school setting. They will attend basic and advanced training based on their current levels of certification. In addition, all nine officers will participate in adolescent mental health training to help SROs identify and appropriately respond to students who might be having mental health issues.
The remaining funds will be used to supply these SROs with various safety equipment, including ballistic shields. The shields keep officers safe in certain crisis situations and can be used to protect students and staff in an emergency. They provide a life-saving layer of protection in the event of a crisis. This funding will benefit all of the district’s nine SROs, impacting all students and staff districtwide, as well as countless community members who attend school-related events.
“We recognize the crucial role school resource officers play in our schools, and asked the district how Phillips 66 could most effectively support the officers,” said Jenny Brown, Community Engagement for Phillips 66. “The training and equipment this grant covers were at the top of the district’s priority list, and Phillips 66 is pleased to be able to support the program in this way.”
Kerry Ickleberry, the Director of Health and Safety for Bartlesville Public Schools, appreciates this contribution, sharing, “Although the Bartlesville Police Department ensures the SROs are fully trained police officers before assigning them to the schools, being an SRO comes with unique responsibilities, and involves situations officers may not encounter in their role and training as a patrol officer. This training will provide invaluable resources to our SROs in interacting with students, specifically in the context of the school environment.”
Community members are encouraged to contact Blair Ellis, the Executive Director of the Bartlesville Public Schools Foundation, for more information on how they can support this safety initiative. Her email is email@example.com and her phone is (918) 336-8600 ext. 3523. Supporters can also directly donate at the Foundation’s website, bpsfoundation.org, and request that their donations be earmarked for “safety.”