HOOVER, Ala., April 3, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Association of School Resource Officers (www.nasro.org) responded today to a school security plan offered by a National Rifle Association task force by providing its own recommendation regarding armed personnel in schools.
"NASRO recommends that a carefully selected, properly trained school resource officer be the first choice in a person who carries a firearm on a school campus," said Mo Canady, NASRO executive director. "We understand that funding and other considerations, however, might lead local policy makers to consider other options."
"School resource officers are very much more than an armed security presence," Canady continued. "They are fully integrated into the fabric of the school environment and any school would benefit from having one."
Canady explained that sworn law enforcement officers with the appropriate skills and backgrounds are the most reliable and most secure option for school safety and security. Canady said NASRO recommends that school resource officer (SRO) candidates have unique and specialized skills and characteristics, including:
· Experience working with youth
· Appropriate dispositions and ability to work in team situations
· Strong public speaking and instructional skills
· Appropriate amount of street experience
In addition, Canady recommended that educators be involved in the SRO selection process.
Canady pointed out that because SROs are first sworn law enforcement officers, they have already undergone extensive background checks and testing. To work effectively in school environments, however, SROs require knowledge and skills not provided by typical police training. These include:
· The triad concept of school-based policing (acting as teacher, informal counselor and law enforcer)
· SRO roles and responsibilities
· School law
· Special education
Because NASRO recognizes that funding limitations prevent some schools from employing SROs, the organization is working to increase funding options. For example, NASRO has supported legislation introduced by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) that would make grants available to local governments to place school resource officers in schools in their jurisdictions.
"NASRO will continue to do all it can to support more funding for school resource officers," Canady said.
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.