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U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services

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August 2019 | Volume 12 | Issue 7

“One officer can make a world of difference in the lives of countless children. . . . A school resource officer not only makes his or her school community more safe and secure, but also helps bridge the gap between youth and law enforcement.”

— COPS Office Director Phil Keith, NASRO Opening Ceremony, June 24, 2019

COPS Office Director Phil Keith and University of Tennessee Volunteers football coach Jeremy Pruitt opened the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) 2019 Annual Conference in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, earlier this summer. The NASRO Board of Directors and staff welcomed more than 2,100 attendees for the largest annual conference ever conducted by the organization. Presentations during the event included sessions on Crisis Prevention and Response, Effective Partnership with School Administrators, Resilience Training for Students, and Restorative Justice Programs. In addition, SROs and school professionals from across the country networked with one another and shared knowledge of best practices and innovative projects.

School safety is a critical and prominent issue for law enforcement and the community as a result of mass casualty shootings in schools across the United States. SROs and law enforcement officers who work in schools are tasked with maintaining the safety and security of students, staff, and community members. It is essential for officers to be trained in school-based policing, and the COPS Office partners with NASRO to support comprehensive training.

The COPS Office is proud to have awarded funding for more than 7,300 SROs in the United States since the office’s inception in 1994. In addition, the COPS Office partners with NASRO to fund basic training for every SRO position that is awarded to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies. The gold standard training of NASRO ensures that SROs are equipped with the skills and knowledge to keep school students safe. The COPS Office is also facilitating state-level certification of NASRO courses to expand the reach of training for officers and school administrators.

SROs play a critical role in schools as mentors, officers, and emergency managers; SROs engage with students on a daily basis to build trust and open lines of communication as well as contributing to their sense of safety and well-being. For more information, please visit the COPS Office’s Supporting Safe Schools website and NASRO.

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