To do list
· Develop school safety plans/protocols
· Conflict resolution
· Detention and arrests
· Searches of persons and property
· In-school law-enforcement education
· General school safety requirements
· Regular meetings
· Student rehabilitation help
· Crime investigation
· Crime prevention
· General law enforcement
That seems like quite the list of things to do doesn’t it? Welcome to the life of school resource officers (SRO).
Roughly 52% of schools in the United States have some form or another of school security presence. About 42% of US schools have an official school resource officer. Even at that, it is very rare to have more than one officer at the school full time. In more rural locations, it is common for one SRO to service the elementary school, middle school, and high school.
This is an enormous amount of responsibility placed on a relatively small number of officers. Thankfully, they do their jobs diligently, and often are able to make strong connections with troubled students, helping them stay out of spiraling cycles.
In schools that do not have an on-hand officer, the national average response time for police officers is ten minutes for emergency situations, and twenty minutes for non-emergency situations.
As is proven over and over, a lot can happen in just a matter of a few minutes.
The ability to respond directly, and efficiently, in any kind of emergency situation is imperative for any officer.
Not all emergencies will require the same kind of response actions. If there is a stranger wandering the halls of the school, and all that needs to happen is for the officer to know where they are and teachers to lock their rooms and continue teaching, this will be handled very differently than if there is a fight at lunch, or a fire because of a chemistry experiment gone wrong.
No matter the situation, the quicker school SROs are able to address the issue, the quicker it can be resolved, with less chance of the problem getting worse.
DIR-S was built with the absolute intention of allowing officers and faculty to communicate quickly and efficiently. To not only stop things that may be happening before they get worse, but also to get ahead of potential problems.
With the DIR-S program’s quick communication capabilities, officers and staff can be aware of any kind of situation in seconds. They can then take the necessary steps to resolve the issue, all while communicating throughout the duration of the situation to keep everyone supplied with what is happening. This way, if upon inspection, an already known situation escalates, faculty knows what is happening, and the SRO can tell them either to follow the emergency protocols already in place or to follow some other directions they might deem more pertinent given the situation.
One of the main frustrations that many school officers have is the fact that many schools either do not do as many drills as they are supposed to or they do not take them seriously because they do not feel like they are an effective use of their time.
When you examine how most drills in schools have gone in the past using traditional drill procedures, it is not hard to understand why teachers might feel that way.
Like any security system or protocol, practice and drilling is so important to ensure that everyone- students, faculty, and officers alike, know just what to do when faced with a real emergency situation.
Any time we meet with current customers or set up new locations with DIR-S, we stress the importance of drilling with the program to make sure that everyone is used to the program. Schools that take this to heart always have drastically quicker reaction times to emergency situations, and have much better opinions of the program.
We meet regularly with police stations and officers to talk about and get feedback for the DIR-S program. We understand the important job that it is playing in schools, and the need for everything that we do on our end with the program to be perfect.
The DIR-S program has proven itself to police officers time and time again. It takes an enormous amount of stress from their shoulders. They already have a huge load of responsibilities, and DIR-S is here to help relieve at least a portion of their load.
If there is a student unaccounted for, the necessary people can be alerted immediately, and can remain in discrete, but clear communication until they are found. If an evacuation alert is sent out, and the evacuation plan that certain classrooms might usually follow would lead them into more danger, through the DIR-S system, officers can quickly and discreetly notify them, and instruct them as to what course of action they should take that will keep them away from danger without causing added alarm to their students.
Let DIR-S cut that to do list down so your school resource officer can get down to focusing on the students and developing a relationship with the people they work with.