Basic SRO Course

The Basic School Resource Officer Course is a forty-hour (40) block of instruction designed for any law enforcement officer with two years or less experience working in an educational environment and school administrators.

Attendees will gain a solid working knowledge of the School Resource Officer concept and how to establish a lasting partnership with their schools. Below is an outline of primary topics covered:

  • Foundations of School Based Law Enforcement
  • Ethics and the SRO
  • The SRO as a Teacher/Guest Speaker
  • Diversity
  • Understanding Special Needs Students
  • Social Media
  • School Law
  • The SRO as an Informal Counselor/Mentor
  • Understanding the Teen Brain
  • Violence and Victimization: Challenges to Development
  • Sex Trafficking of Youth
  • Effects of Youth Trends and Drugs on the School Culture and Environment
  • Threat Response: Preventing Violence in School Settings
  • School Safety and Emergency Operations Plans
  • Crime Prevention through Environmental Design

The course is taught on a five day, eight hour format. Classes begin promptly at 8:00 am each morning and run through 5:00 pm each day.  Attendees are required to attend all sessions in order to obtain the National School Resource Officer Basic Course Certificate. There is a written examination, multiple discussions, and at least one graded practical exercise for each student.

Who Should Attend:

The School Resource Officer Program is a true Community Based Police program. Although many of the officers attending our courses will be assigned as School Resource or School Liaison Officers, the course is designed to benefit school administrators working with law enforcement and any law enforcement officer working with youth, or in an educational environment.


 I. Foundations of School-Based Law Enforcement

 Goal: Students will learn the history of school-based policing and the roles and responsibilities of the SRO position.

Learner Objectives:

  • Identify several early SRO programs and explain why they were or were not successful.
  • Understand the importance of NASRO in school-based policing.
  • Prepare a list of daily duties of a typical SRO.
  • Identify the NASRO Triad concept and describe each component.


II. Ethics and the SRO

 Goal: Establish a highly ethical SRO program in order to build mutual respect and trust among the SRO, students, parents, and school staff.

Learner Objectives:

  • Describe the need for a high standard of ethics in the role of SRO.
  • Understand the ethical considerations unique to an SRO.


III and IV: The SRO as a Teacher/Guest Speaker

Goal: Fully equip the SRO to be confident in the role as a teacher/guest speaker, understand the importance of law-related education, and have proven techniques for classroom management.

Learner Objectives:

  • Define Law- Related Education (LRE).
  • Understand the learning process.
  • List the components of a lesson plan.
  • Demonstrate effective presentation skills.


V: Understanding Special Needs Students

Goal: Provide strategies for SROs to be appropriately proactive and reactive when interacting with students with disabilities.

Learner Objectives:

  • Understand components of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
  • Gain a better understanding of the discipline process for students with disabilities.
  • Understand the different diagnostic disability categories.
  • Demonstrate ways to communicate proactively with students with disabilities.


VI: The SRO as an Informal Counselor/Mentor

Goal: Provide participants with the tools to become a more effective informal counselor/mentor, and to equip SROs with strategies to foster vital, informal counseling/mentoring relationships.

Learner Objectives:

  • Articulate a basic understanding of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  • Develop strategies to foster informal counseling/mentoring relationships with students.
  • Identify student behavior that would merit a referral to a community or professional service.


VII: Understanding the Teen Brain

Goal: Participants will gain an understanding of the complex interaction between intellectual and emotional development during the time of adolescence. This block of instructor will explain the adolescent brain: how the teen brain develops, the two types of teen brains, and traumatic influences on the teen brain.

Learner Objectives:

  • Explain the differences between puberty and adolescence.
  • Understand the impact of brain development on impulsive behavior as it peaks during adolescence.
  • Distinguish between the “Thinking Brain” and the “Feeling Brain” as they drive adolescent behavior.
  • Understand the most effective communication strategies for working with adolescents.


VIII: Violence and Victimization: Challenges to Development

Goal: This block of instruction will explore victimization in childhood and adolescence, as well as the impact of trauma on development. The body’s hard-wired, biologically based, stress response (“fight or flight”) system will be explained including the role of the brain in the stress response system; the nature of traumatic stress; the impact of traumatic stress on the brain; and the behavioral and emotional effects of trauma in childhood and adolescence. The influence of victimization on interactions with SROs will be outlined, as well as best practice approaches for interactions with traumatized youth.

Learner Objectives:

  • Define three types of stress.
  • Understand the effects of traumatic stress on the human body.
  • Identify the correlation between the ACE report and the role of the SRO.
  • Identify strategies for the SRO when working with traumatized and victimized youth.


 IX: Sex Trafficking of Youth

Goal: In the role of an SRO, it is imperative that the signs of, and facts about, sex trafficking are well understood. This block of instruction will provide information and resources to assist SRO’s in their role in anti-sex trafficking efforts.

Learner Objectives:

  • Define Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC).
  • Explain why a victim centered approach to CSEC is vital.
  • Understand recruitment and control of CSEC victims.
  • Identify ways SROs can contribute to anti-sex trafficking efforts.


X: Effects of Youth Trends and Drugs on the School Culture and Environment

Goal: This block of instruction will offer general knowledge about the latest drugs and youth trends that will assist an SRO in detecting safety concerns on the school campus. This block of instruction will provide tools for an SRO to stay up-to-date on the newest drugs and youth trends that are always evolving and to emphasize the impact these subcultures could have on the school setting.

Learner Objectives:

  • Understand how youth trends and drugs affect the school environment.
  • Recognize the importance of keeping current with youth trends in order to recognize potential issues in the school.
  • Apply tools to stay current on youth trends and drugs that will affect the school environment.


XI: Social Media

Goal: Social media apps and technology are rapidly evolving which often creates challenges and safety issues to the school environment. This block of instruction will provide tools to address incidents, criminal or noncriminal, which originate or intersect on social media.

Learner Objectives:

  • Understand social media in all its forms.
  • Understand the impact of social media on students.
  • Gain knowledge on how to advise students and parents on social media safety.


XII: School Law

Goal: The SRO must become a specialist in school related law. This block of instruction will provide generalized information regarding the continual legal decisions that potentially or directly impact the daily duties and responsibilities of the SRO and the school team.

Learner Objectives:

  • Apply knowledge learned to presentations for staff and students.
  • Gain insight to important court cases.
  • Understand juvenile law to counterbalance the potential for liability.


XIII: Threat Response: Preventing Violence in School Settings

Goal: This block of instruction will guide school and law enforcement personnel in response and investigation into verbal and/or written threats of violence. With this information SROs will be able to make informed decisions regarding threats of varying degrees and understand possible ways of dealing with those who make the threats.

Learner Objectives:

  • Recognize factors involved in determining the validity of a threat.
  • Identify the three basic practices involved in threat assessment and safety.
  • Conduct a basic threat assessment and identify possible responses.


XIV: School Safety and Emergency Operations Plans

Goal: In order to provide a safe learning environment, schools and SROs must be prepared for numerous types of emergency situations on campus from a violent intruder to inclement weather. This block of instruction will give SROs the tools needed to become an effective member of the school safety team and develop, with a collaborative team, an Emergency Operations Plan.

Learner Objectives:

  • Implement effective proactive school safety measures.
  • Identify school threats and develop prevention and preparedness models based on identified threats.
  • Collaborate with stakeholders on the development and implementation of an Emergency Operations Plan.


XV: Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

Goal: This block of instruction will guide school and law enforcement personnel in identifying and understanding the Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles and how applying those principles to the school campus can prevent crime.

Learner Objectives:

  • Understand the CPTED concept and three core principles.
  • Apply CPTED principles to improving the environmental design of a school and reducing crime.