By Andrea Iglar
About 21 years into his career as a police officer, South Fayette Township Sgt. Jeff Sgro has a new beat: the South Fayette School District.
Since the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year, Sgt. Sgro has served as a full-time certified School Resource Officer (SRO), spending every day at the school’s Old Oakdale Road campus to help ensure a safe environment.
“We do have a safe school and we do have a safe community, but today bad things happen in good places, and it’s better to be safe than sorry,” Sgt. Sgro said.
South Fayette Township and the South Fayette School District teamed up to start the SRO program, funded in part by a $40,938 state grant from the 2014 Safe Schools program.Sgt. Sgro works with students in all grades and school buildings. His job includes advising school administrators on safety issues, planning for emergencies, responding to incidents, conducting searches, holding interactive educational programs and building positive relationships with students, staff, parents and the community.
He has begun teaching or developing programs on topics such as safe driving, cyber safety, and drug and alcohol abuse.
“It’s about education; it’s about being a role model,” Sgt. Sgro said. “It’s about bringing together the township, the police department, the school district, and the community and working as a team.”
Another South Fayette police officer, James Hubbard, teaches Project D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) in the school district.
A graduate of South Fayette High School, Sgt. Sgro lives in South Fayette with wife, Kristi, and his sons, Matthew and Nathan.
Sgt. Sgro has been with the South Fayette Township police since 1999, having previously served in Bridgeville and Heidelberg.
“I come to work every day with a smile on my face,” Sgt. Sgro said. “I love what I do. This is an entirely new career for me. It’s very rewarding.”