HOOVER, Ala., Jan. 8, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The nation's largest organization of school-based police officers agrees with new federal guidance that recommends law enforcement officers not be involved in school disciplinary action. The National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) released its response to school discipline guidance issued today by the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice.
"For nearly a quarter of a century, NASRO has trained school resource officers not to be involved in school discipline," said NASRO executive director Mo Canady. "Problems arise, however, when school administrators fail to receive education on the appropriate roles of school-based police officers and when law enforcement officers are placed on campuses without careful selection and proper training."
NASRO strongly recommends that at least one school administrator attend NASRO's basic school resource officer training alongside the law enforcement officer. "There's tremendous value in such side-by-side training," Canady said. "We'd love to see it become a requirement."
Canady said inadequate training of school-based police officers is particularly prevalent in some of the nation's large, metropolitan jurisdictions. In the past few years, only a few large metropolitan police departments have sought training from NASRO, which has been educating school-based police officers for 24 years. "NASRO is well equipped to help agencies and school districts of all sizes, rural as well as urban," Canady said.
For example, Canady said NASRO trains officers to build relationships with school staff and students that enable the officers to de-escalate situations. "Officers without our training, on the other hand, will sometimes unnecessarily escalate issues to the point of criminal charges," Canady said.
NASRO also strongly agrees with administration recommendations that school systems and law enforcement agencies create detailed, written memoranda of understanding before placing officers on campus. These documents should clearly define the roles and responsibilities of both police officers and school administrators.
Editor's note: Canady is available for interviews. Contact NASRO's media representative (information below the release).
NASRO is a not-for-profit organization for school-based law enforcement officers, school administrators and school security/safety professionals working as partners to protect students, school faculty and staff, and the schools they attend. NASRO is located in Hoover, Ala., and was established in 1991. For more information, visit www.nasro.org.
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Source:National Association of School Resource Officers, Inc.