Have you met your school’s NRO? In the city of Sunnyvale, Neighborhood Resource Officers, or NRO’s, serve as liaisons between the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety (DPS), our schools, and the community. They focus their efforts on community outreach, crime prevention, fire and public safety education, and mentoring youth through a variety of programs. Two NRO’s are specifically assigned to SSD schools. NRO’s serve anywhere from three to five years before transferring to another specialty.
Officer Raymond Strom: Bishop, Lakewood, Fairwood, San Miguel, Columbia Middle
This is Officer Strom’s third year as an NRO. He has 13 years of experience as a police officer. From gang resistance education to traffic safety, Officer Strom is in our classrooms every day teaching students how to be safe. As an NRO, he gives presentations on a variety of topics from what to do in a lockdown situation to anti-bullying campaigns. NRO’s also put on a lot of events where the community can connect with officers and share what’s going on in their respective neighborhoods. Community members may connect with officers over coffee or even be served by an officer during a Tip-A-Cop event, where DPS officers raise money to donate to the Special Olympics.
“Being an NRO is very rewarding,” Strom said. “You can see how kids look up to you and it gives you hope; you hope to make a difference.”
Officer Strom is a native of San Jose and is married with two children.
Officer Joseph Ochoa: Cherry Chase, Cumberland, Ellis, Vargas, Sunnyvale Middle
This is Officer Ochoa’s first year as NRO; however, he is not new to the field with 12 years of experience as a police officer. He has served as a field training officer and a SWAT team member, and is currently a firearms instructor and defensive tactics instructor. Officer Ochoa is also an adviser for the Explorer Program. The Explorer program provides youth the opportunity to gain hands-on police and fire response training. Participants attend police and fire training academies, learn to respond to emergency scenes, go on ride-a-longs as well as assist officers with a variety of events throughout the year. The program is open to youth ages 14 through 20.
“I’ve wanted to become a police officer ever since the second grade,” Ochoa said. “It’s been a dream come true. I’ve never been the type of guy to sit around; I like the idea of the unpredictability and uncertainty from day to day. I like being an NRO a lot. I really want to build better relationships between the community and the police department and be a good liaison to the community.”
Ochoa is a native of Santa Clara and received his bachelor’s in justice studies from San Jose State University. For fun, he enjoys working out, strength training, and going on vacation outside of California.