Sgt. Courtney Ballantine of the Alexandria Police Department will discuss the role of school resource officers who are assigned to T.C. Williams and two middle schools at the quarterly meeting of the Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria.
Ballantine, the department’s School Resource Unit supervisor and Crisis Intervention Team coordinator, will outline for participants why police officers are assigned to certain schools and describe a typical day. He'll talk about issues such as what happens if a youth is caught violating the law and using or selling drugs or alcohol at school.
The meeting, which is open to the public and will be informative for parents of children in the Alexandria City Public Schools, will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 17 at the T.C. Willliams High School rotunda.
“SROs play an important role at our city’s schools – one that is often invisible to many members of our community,” said Allen Lomax, chair of the Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria. “While we most often think of police officers as enforcers of the law, SROs also are working in our schools and community to help our youth avoid risky behaviors.”
SAPCA is an alliance of more than 80 members representing parents, youth, schools, City of Alexandria health and recreation agencies, media, nonprofits, businesses, faith communities, policymakers and law enforcement whose mission is to engage the entire community in reducing youth substance use and abuse in Alexandria.
SAPCA was created in 2007 as part of the Partnership for a Healthier Alexandria. Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille is SAPCA’s honorary chair.