SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER
The School Resource Officer Program was first implemented in Flint, Michigan during the late 1950’s. The Program was designed to bridge the gap between the Police and the youth by placing a Police Officer into the school on a full time basis. Due to the success of the program, School Districts and Police Agencies formed cooperative agreements to place an officer into the Schools. The program continued to excel and today, School Resource Officer's (SRO) can be found in schools worldwide.
In 1991 the, National Association for School Resource Officers (NASRO) organization was formed. The Association implemented curriculum/standards for School Resource Officers.
The City of Aberdeen, Maryland, is the largest of three municipalities in Harford County, Maryland. We have three elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school within our jurisdiction. Combined, there are 3,800 Harford County Public School students attending schools located in the City of Aberdeen.
The Aberdeen Police Department had two full-time SRO's until the 2019-2020 school year. The Mayor and Council for the City of Aberdeen approved in its FY19-20 budget, a third SRO who would be assigned to the three elementary schools within city limits.
SRO's form a positive relationship with the youth by taking a personal interest in the students' activities, promoting respect for people and property, and working to educate students on the legal system. NASRO, emphasizes the Triad Concept by utilizing the SRO as the role of a teacher, counselor, and law enforcement officer. By training law enforcement to educate, counsel, and protect our school communities, the men and women of NASRO continue to lead by example and promote a positive image of law enforcement to our Nation’s youth.
A new SRO is mandated to attend a 40 hour Maryland Model School Resource Officer class and pass a written test. This instruction is taught by the Maryland Center for School Safety. SRO's may also attend several NASRO courses as deemed necessary. The Basic SRO class presented by NASRO is also 40 hours of training on topics such as developing teaching skills, the role of a Police Officer in the school, working as a problem solver, and being a good role model. SRO’s have the ability to attain an NASRO's Advanced School Resource Officer certificate by completing an additional 24 hours of training on topics such as the relationship between the SRO and school administrators, crime prevention strategies, and school safety assessments. NASRO also offers a 12-hour Adolescent Mental Health course.
Officer Danielle Baust is currently assigned to Aberdeen High School. She has been a police officer for 13 years. She began her career at Perryville Police Department in Cecil County. While serving the citizens of Perryville Officer Baust was very involved with the Outreach Program; mentoring kids 8-18. In 2013, Officer Baust transferred to the City of Aberdeen Police Department. Officer Baust attended Kutztown University on a Softball scholarship. She finished degree at West Chester University with a major in Criminal Justice and a double minor in Sociology and Anthropology. Before coming a police officer she worked in the retail industry, worked with kids with Autism and coached softball. Officer Baust currently has successfully completed the Maryland Model School Resource Officer (40 hours presented by the Maryland Center for School Safety) and the NASRO Adolescent Mental Health (12 hours) program. She is a member of the Harford County Crisis Intervention and Crisis Negotiation Team.
Officer Mary McLaughlin is currently assigned to the Aberdeen Middle School.
Sgt. Jason Neidig, a 24 year veteran of law enforcement spent six years as the SRO at Aberdeen Middle School before being promoted to the rank of Corporal in March 2021, then Sergeant in November 2022. He currently is assigned to the Patrol Division and is the supervisor of a 6 man patrol squad, seven civilian crossing guards, and 2 school resource officers. Sgt. Neidig has a vast background in the field of school safety having attended and successfully completed the following school based policing training; School Based Policing-Single Officer Response to Active Threats (40 hours presented by the Maryland Police & Correctional Training Commission), National Basic SRO Course (40 hours presented by NASRO), National Advanced SRO Course (24 hours presented by NASRO), National School Safety Leadership Summit (16 hours presented by NASRO), Adolescent Mental Health (12 hours presented by NASRO), Maryland Model School Resource Officer (40 hours presented by the Maryland Center for School Safety, SRO Supervisor & Management (24 hours), NASRO School Safety Conference (2 at 40 hours each), and many other school based policing educational instruction courses.
Officer Danielle Baust
Aberdeen High School
Officer Mary McLaughlin
Aberdeen Middle School
George D. Lisby Elementary
Hall's Cross Roads Elementary
Sergeant Jason Neidig