The purpose of this program is to provide a police officer to district schools available as a resource to the administrators, faculty, staff and most of all the students. East Greenbush police officers have been visible and instructing in the district since the early 1980's when the first drug awareness program was introduced. Now, there is a more structured and organized system in place which has built on the rapport that the police department and school district share. Recently, the school district added a Sheriffs Deputy to provide a School Resource Officer to Goff Middle School.
School Resource Officers are certified New York State Police Officers that are employed by the Town of East Greenbush Police Department and Rensselaer County Sheriffs Department. SRO's are veteran officers assigned to the Youth Services Bureau of the police department. Certifications include D.A.R.E. Instructor training, School Resource Officer training and various juvenile related training. They also handle the majority of the juvenile related matters of the department.
Officer Edward Ashley is currently assigned to Columbia High School as the School Resource Officer.
Deputy Russo (no relation to Sheriff Patrick Russo) has been a police officer for 16 years and is a certified School Resource Officer and School Resource Officer trainer. For the last six years, he has served as the Rensselaer County D.A.R.E. Officer, teaching 5th grade classrooms in seven different school districts.
Prior to becoming a police officer, Deputy Russo spent 10 years working with children at Berkshire Farm Center, Vanderheyden Hall, NYS Brookwood Secure Center and the NY State Central Register for Child Abuse.