St. Mary’s County Public Schools (SMCPS) and the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office (SMCSO) fully recognize the immeasurable value of a safe, nurturing learning environment and community for children. We want to provide students with the best opportunity possible to succeed in school and eventually in their life’s endeavors. Both organizations share a common vested interest in student success and want all students to graduate from high school and be career ready or college bound. We work together every day to protect our children and make every effort to prepare them to become productive and contributing members of society.
It is for this purpose that Dr. Michael J. Martirano, superintendent of schools, and Sheriff Timothy K. Cameron have established the St. Mary’s County Adopt-A-School Program. This joint partnership is specifically designed to provide mentors to the children of St. Mary’s County and to further enhance our safe and nurturing school environments by coordinating additional law enforcement resources and support for St. Mary’s County Public Schools.
“I am absolutely thrilled that Sheriff Cameron and his deputies are ramping up their efforts even further to do everything possible to keep our children safe by implementing with full fidelity the St. Mary’s County Adopt-A-School Program,” said Dr. Michael J. Martirano, superintendent of schools.
The Adopt-A-School Program matches current St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s deputies with elementary schools that currently do not have the direct support of a school resource officer. The deputies, who volunteer to participate in the program, will “adopt” their matched elementary school for the purpose of fostering a positive relationship with the school’s students. The deputies will enhance law enforcement service to their school and act as an advisor to staff. All will work together to keep students in school and improve their opportunities for success.
“The adopt-a-school initiative increases the safety and security of students, staff, and teachers by assigning specially trained volunteers to act as a resource for the elementary schools,” said Sheriff Timothy K. Cameron. “This will increase the visibility of and interaction with police.”
This initiative supplements the established school resource officer program as we recognize the need to operate efficiently and effectively, maximizing all of our resources. The deputy and the school’s site administrator will coordinate activities that will promote and support this initiative. Activities may include:
- Mentoring students through interaction with uniformed officers;
- Participating in a variety of school activities to include lunch visits, playground observations, and providing safety and vocational talks;
- Conducting regular visits, increasing visibility, and enhancing campus security;
- Providing guidance based on their expertise as law enforcement professionals;
- Acting as a resource with respect to delinquency prevention; and
- Acting as a liaison during emergency events at the school.