Town, MUSD partner to provide School Resource Officer

 Marana PD School Resource Officer (SRO) David Samorano and Marana High School Principal Dr. David Mandel. (Photo Courtesy Marana Unified School District)

Marana PD School Resource Officer (SRO) David Samorano and Marana High School Principal Dr. David Mandel. (Photo Courtesy Marana Unified School District)

On June 5 the Marana Town Council approved to extend a service agreement with the Marana Unified School District to provide a School Resource Officer at Marana High School in support of the District's School Safety Program.

In 2014 the Marana Unified School District, with support from the Town of Marana, applied for and received funding from the Arizona Department of Education to fund a School Resource Officer position at Marana High School. It was the first time the school had one on campus since 2009, and the Marana Police Department School Resource Officer has served at the school continuously since 2014, twice winning awards for School Resource Officer of the Year.

This year Marana Unified School District did not receive a grant award for the School Resource Officer position at the high school, but both parties want to continue to have the position at the school. The agreement between the Town and MUSD will have both parties share the costs of the School Resource Officer’s compensation during the term of the agreement. 

Officer David Samorano will serve as Marana High School’s School Resource Officer this upcoming school year, and believes the presence of an officer on campus creates a safer learning environment.

“Officer presence on the campus provides a quicker response to incidents whether small or extraordinary,” Samorano said.

MUSD will pay 50% of the School Resource Officer’s monthly compensation during each ten-month school year. The position will continue to function in the same capacity, teaching Law Related Education classes and maintaining a presence at the school to provide for a safe school environment. 

“Through a School Resource Officer, relationships are forged and the future leaders of our community are educated,” Samorano said. “With a curriculum focusing on law-related education and safety, we contact students on a level other than an investigative purpose. This allows open communication, understanding and trust between future leaders and the Marana Police Department.”

It is the intent of Marana Unified School District and the Town of Marana to apply for grant funding for the position during the next funding cycle.