The School Resource Officer (SRO) program began in Vernon with the assignment of Officer John Collins to the Rockville High School in January of 1995. The program was initially looked upon with a skeptical eye, as Police Officers being assigned to schools was not the norm. Officer Collins was required to wear a suit and tie and carry a concealed .380 handgun. Officer Collins was not only required to patrol the hallways of the Rockville High School, but also teach classes about the law, drugs & alcohol, and child abuse. In a short time, Officer Collins was able to show the value of the SRO program to the Town and win over the Rockville High School administration.
In the fall of 1995, Officer Collins was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and the RHS SRO assignment went to Officer Pagel. He also worked the assignment in "plain clothes" with his firearm in a belly band so as to not alarm the students. An armed police officer in the school was still a concern. However, the tragedy at Columbine High School in 1999 changed everything. This convinced Officer Pagel it was time to have his full accoutrements available for the safety of the school and himself, and he started wearing his full duty uniform. For the first few years as SRO, Officer Pagel was involved in the Peer Mediation Program, proactively addressing student disputes before they became a disruption or physical fights. As Officer Pagel became more accustomed to the school, he became more involved in the classroom setting. He tought classes, brought in officers for discussions, and was paramount in the creation of numerous programs. Officer Pagel spent 13 years working as the SRO and proved to be a tremendous asset to both the Patrol and Detective Divisions (as well as the school itself).
In September of 2008, Officer Earl Middleton became the new Rockville High School SRO. Under Chief Kenny, the SRO program changed to a four year rotating assignment, allowing more officers the opportunity to interact with our youth and build upon the positive experience set by Officer Pagel. During Officer Middleton's four year assignment, he instituted new programs in the school, which were a huge success. He created a presentation on "Teen Dating Violence," working on the presentation for 5 months before it was shown to the students. The program was such a big success that it has now been seen by approximately 8,000 students, including many from other high schools, middle schools, and conferences (parents and youth workers as well).
In September of 2012, Officer Steven Langlais became the new SRO of Rockville High School. He immediately assisted in the class "Law and Order", taught by Michael Breen and eventually taken over by Peter Borofsky. While the teacher taught the required curriculum, Officer Langlais was able to give examples of his real world experience in order to connect it to the class concepts. Officer Langlais is a current member of the Juvenile Review Board, the Vernon Drug and Alcohol Prevention Council, the School Health and Safety Committee, and he is most proud of his responsibilities as a co-chair on the Students Seeking New Achievements Positively (SSNAP) group. He has developed an anti drunk/drugged/distracted driving program named "No 3D Driving" and purchased a pedal cart which allows students to experience a simulated course with impairment goggles to show the effects of using alcohol/drugs/cell phones while driving. Officer Langlais is a team leader on the "Right Response" grant to reduce suspensions and arrests. Through this grant he developed an after school basketball program which connects at risk students to positive adult role models at RHS. He also helped to develop a summer program where students are able to attend field trips such as a military confidence course to expose them to opportunities outside of Vernon. Officer Langlais has worked hard over the years to build positive relationships with all students at Rockville High School, especially those with difficult home situations. He also prides himself on his calming demeanor, which prevents potential issues from escalating.