In 2014, the Middletown Police Department secured a grant through the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office of the U.S. Department of Justice. The grant provided funding for the addition of two new school resource officer positions within the department. Officers Benjamin Costa and John Patterson have been selected for these positions and are assigned to the middle and high schools. Both Officer Costa and Officer Patterson combine to provide SRO services to the towns two elementary schools.
As defined by the Department of Justice, the School Resource Officer (SRO) is a sworn law enforcement officer responsible for providing security and crime prevention services in the school environment. The SROs work closely with administrators in an effort to create a safer environment for both students and staff. Their responsibilities are similar to regular police officers in that they have the ability to make arrests, respond to calls for service and document incidents that occur within their jurisdiction. The main goal of the SRO is to prevent juvenile delinquency by promoting positive relations between youth and law enforcement.