Amid school shootings and other acts of violence, many school districts are tightening their laws and increasing the number of school resource officers (SRO) on campus. SROs offer more than just armed guards within school walls – they are trained to know the school building, students and faculty well. In an active shooter situation, SROs are not only the first to respond in many cases, but are also trained to react to those specific situations.
After an event like Sandy Hook, SRO training increased dramatically. Mo Canady, executive director of National Association of School Resource Officers, said, “After Sandy Hook occurred, our phones rang off the hook and as a matter of fact, our training doubled the next year.” She added, “What we train them to do is not sit or stand and wait for help but to address the incident immediately, find the shooter and end the situation.”
Still, many school district budgets only account for one SRO per school. In most cases, SRO programs have proven to be a good investment, especially with the increase in after school activities and programs where SROs can interact with students on a personal level. An increase in SROs would provide more opportunities for prevention of incidents in the schools, instead of only reacting after something happens.