BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – The new school year is right around the corner and many parents are concerned about school security and safety.
The Alabama Association for School Resource Officers tells WBRC that not every Alabama school will have an SRO this coming fall, but there are more than 400 across the state and many have increased their training.
“I hope coming out of this most recent horrible massacre, that districts will really pay attention to every aspect of school safety,” Executive Director of The National Association of School Resource Officers Mo Canady said.
Canady said they have seen an increase in SRO’s seeking more training before the new school year. He said the crowd at their national school safety conference in July was the second largest yet, with more than 1,000 people showing up.
“We got some good training in front of a large large audience, we had close to 1,500,” Canady said.
He said officers not only learned how to prepare incase of a school attack, but also how to handle it mentally if there is one.
“They learned that survivor mentality you have to have in some situations,” he said. “They also learned a lot about school law issues and working with special needs students.”
It was both new and experienced SRO’s getting more training at the conference.
“The level of school violence that has increased over this past year, with Uvalde, certainly drove more people to feel like they needed training and to brush up on things,” Canady said.
In June, there was a conference just for Alabama SRO’s and Canady said there were more than 800 people in attendance.
“That is good that they recognize that they need the training,” he said.
If your student goes to a school without an SRO, Canady said you should talk with their teacher and district and make sure you are familiar with their safety plan too.
“Make sure that your school district is engaged in safety training,” he said. “As well as, not just the educators, but also the students. Make sure there are appropriate drills that are going on.”
The Alabama Association for School Resource Officers tells WBRC they don’t have an exact count on how many new SRO’s will be walking the hall this fall across the state, but they are conducting a training class this week with 40 brand new SRO’s. They will be working in various school buildings at the start of next week.
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