September 24, 2018
School Protection Officers – SPO
Alan Schmitt, ARM-P
Area Vice President – Loss Prevention
Arthur J. Gallagher
As discussed in several previous MUSIC Matters articles, the appointment of an SPO is one potential security response for our schools. It is, however, important that all criteria outlined in the legislation be properly addressed and completed.
Earlier this summer, there have been several school districts that have had personnel successfully complete the initial training and weapons qualifications. This in itself is a challenge. However, it is important to remember that the initial training needs to be supplemented with on-going training and mental health assessments.
The statute indicates the following:
To maintain their designation, School Protection Officers shall—
(A) Successfully complete a minimum of twelve (12) hours of annual training. Eight (8) hours of this training shall have a primary focus of responding to active school shootings and shall be delivered by a local, county, or state law enforcement officer qualified to offer a response to active shooter course and who is in possession of a valid peace officer license. The remaining four (4) hours of training shall have a primary focus of weapon retention, firearms skill development, defensive tactics, ground fighting, and handcuffing and restraint devices. The four (4) hours of training shall be delivered by a local, county, or state law enforcement officer qualified to offer this type of training and who is in possession of a valid peace officer license.
(B) On a quarterly basis, successfully complete a firearm qualification course using the same firearm used in the performance of their duties as a School Protection Officer. This course can be delivered by any local, county, or state law enforcement officer qualified to offer a firearm qualification course and who is in possession of a valid peace officer license.
(C) Maintain a secondary/third-party First Aid/CPR certification.
Written documentation of the completion of the twelve (12) hours of annual training, successful quarterly firearm qualification, and a current copy of his/her secondary/third- party First Aid/CPR certification must be maintained by the school where the School Protection Officer is employed for a period of three (3) years from the date the training, qualifications, and certifications were successfully completed.
In addition to the above requirements, it is important that all SPO be given a mental health assessment on a routine basis.
If you have any questions on the SPO requirements or other school security related issues contact Alan Schmitt 314-800-2255 or firstname.lastname@example.org