National organization issues statement supporting LA school police
Describes role, benefits of carefully selected, properly trained school resource officers
Feb. 12, 2018 – Hoover, Ala. – In the wake of recent shootings on school campuses, and as organizations in Los Angeles plan to rally against the presence of police in schools, the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) today issued a statement on the value of well-founded school policing programs.
“NASRO fully supports the Los Angeles School Police Department,” said NASRO executive director Mo Canady. “In fact, Chief Steven Zipperman has been a staunch supporter of nationwide standards and best practices in school policing.”
Canady pointed out that those best practices call for carefully selected, properly trained school resource officers (SROs) to perform three main roles in schools. They serve as mentors to students, building relationships that can create positive perceptions of law enforcement that last lifetimes. They assist in the education of students, by serving as classroom guest lecturers on topics such as practical applications of the Bill of Rights. In their third role, as law enforcement officers, they protect school communities from external and internal threats, preventing violence when possible and mitigating the effects of violence that cannot be prevented.
“NASRO has found that SRO programs that implement nationwide best practices actually reduce the number of students who enter the juvenile justice system, rather than create a so-called, ‘school-to-prison pipeline,’” said Canady. “There are many reasons for this. One is the best practice of leaving the enforcement of school rules and regulations to educators, not police officers. In fact, NASRO has issued a public statement supporting that practice.”
“Recent shootings of students by students make it abundantly clear that schools must do all they can to prevent firearms from entering their campuses,” Canady added. “One of the most effective ways to reduce the threat of firearms is to have a carefully selected, well-trained SRO on campus. Through the relationships SROs build with students, they often learn of weapons on campus before the weapons are used. In such cases, SROs are able to eliminate the threats before any harm occurs. As police officers, SROs are well-trained on handling and securing weapons safely. Should a weapon be used before it is discovered, an SRO can mitigate the effects, by stopping further use of the weapon, providing life-saving first aid to victims and summoning and coordinating outside emergency response.”
“The benefits of carefully selected, well-trained SRO are clear,” Canady concluded. “We find it ironic that, just weeks after Los Angeles students suffered gunshot wounds in their middle school, any organization there – especially a teacher’s union – would advocate a reduction in school safety and security.”
NASRO is a nonprofit organization for school-based law enforcement officers, school administrators, and school security and safety professionals working as partners to protect students, school faculty and staff, and the schools they attend. NASRO is located in Hoover, Alabama, and it was established in 1991. For more information, visit www.nasro.org.
Jani Spede Public Relations
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