TUCSON – When thinking of law enforcement officers, most think of them responding to crime, arresting someone, or giving out traffic violations. But the Pima County Sheriff’s Department (PCSD) has a unit that looks a bit different.
Officers from that unit spend their time in schools. They are called school resource officers (SROs)
News 4 Tucson went to Cienega High School in the Vail School District to meet an SRO and hear his story.
This is Sgt. Bill Farmer. He is a School Resource Officer (SRO) at Cienega HS. He wrote an open letter after the Stoneman Douglas Shooting. Hear his incredible story and why SROs are important on @KVOA all morning! @CienegaBobcats @PimaSheriff #SchoolResourceOfficer #SRO pic.twitter.com/tGopa2uvqA
— Kendra Hall (@kendrahallTV) February 11, 2019
Deputy Bill Farmer has been an SRO at Cienega for four years now. In that time, he has made a huge difference.
“Farmer just brings a vibe to Cienega,” said Peyton Middleton, Junior at Cienega HS. “When he walks around, kids automatically say hi to him. Every type of kid. It’s like every single kid at Cienega loves him and they know that Farmer is always going to be there for them. I have no doubt it my mind that Farmer would do anything for me.”
Farmer recently wrote an open letter to the students and parents about his work at the school.
“You want people to do the best that they can,” said Farmer. “I have relationships with these kids and I care about these kids. I see these kids every day. I know their parents. I know the struggle that these kids have been through. They deserve the absolute best that we as law enforcement can provide them.”
He says it is scary seeing so many school shootings. He started organizing active shooter workshops to prepare students and staff.
“This is just the most current threat that we’re up against,” Farmer said. “Yeah it’s scary, but we have things that we can do. We don’t have to just sit around and wait for someone to hurt us. We have things that we can do to make ourselves safe.”
PCSD has around 20 SROs at schools across the county. Farmer says he would not want to do anything else because he loves making an impact on the students and the students love having him around.
“He has handshakes with different kids and he just walks around and he could hold a conversation with anybody,” Middleton said. “He just makes Cienega feel like more of a home and more of a family.”
Farmer’s home base is Cienega, but he covers multiple schools in the Vail district.
Go HERE to read Farmer’s open letter.