A debate on whether schools really need school resource officers (SROs) on campus has been settled. It is proven that SROs play an important role in preventing school violence, according to a report by the U.S. National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC).,
Rumors of violent attacks often run the circuit of student life long before a rumor becomes reality. If SROs are trusted staples within a school’s ecosystem, students are more likely to report suspicious behavior to their SRO.
In an interview with Newsy, NASRO Executive Director Mo Canady said “school resource officers play a role in stopping violence in schools, often through relationships.
“From those relationships, both with students and parents, comes great intelligence that gives officers the opportunity to conduct an investigation and stop an act of violence before it occurs.”
Relationships are vital to deterring school violent attacks, according to the NTAC report. The U.S. Secret Service relies on a similar system to prevent acts of violence against the U.S. president and other public officials. In the case of a school, threat assessment teams would consist of community figures, school staff, parents, students and SROs.
Students are best positioned to identify and report concerning behaviors displayed by their classmates because of their everyday interactions. If they feel comfortable enough to report plots of violence or suspicious behavior to their SROs, the plot can easily be prevented.
The study showed that in some cases students reported the attack plot directly to SROs. SROs were also responsible for either reporting attack plots or responding to them in nearly one-third of the cases that were analyzed in the NTAC report.
Peruse the Shelter Shutters website to learn how your school can stay safe during potential school attack.