PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio1020 KDKA) – Do you have what it takes to protect a school against attacks? Can you look at a situation, see every possible scenario and prepare for the best plan of action? Not many people can but the increase in demand for these positions is skyrocketing here in Pennsylvania and across the country.
School resource officers are in high demand, Mo Canday, Executive Director National Association of School Resource Officers joined the KDKA Afternoon News with Robert Mangino to talk about SRO’s and their responsibilities in a school.
“The bottom line is NASRO has been around since 1991 and during that time we have been training on the concept of the SRO triad. That basically means that the SROs certainly serve as a law enforcement officer but they are also involved in the education process and they also serve to some degree as a an informal councelor or in a role as a mentor,” Canady said.
By federal definition an SRO must be a certified law enforcement officer and SRO’s date back as far as the 1950’s. Canady tells Mangino that the growth of the SROs came in the 90’s and has continued ever since. Columbine was a notable tragedy that really put the NASRO’s mission on the map noticing the growth and the need for SROs.
The demand for the school resource officer training really sparked an interest here even getting the attention of Governor Tom Corbett, who announced grants to support their salaries, after the Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut. However some feel that the increase in demand after an incident like that may be a little over reacting.
“There is a little bit of knee jerk reaction there to want to put SROs in just to defend against an active shooter situation which we completely understand but really most of them are never going to face that. They are really dealing with a more day to day issues whether they are drug issues, gang issues whether it’s an issue of helping a troubled youth, being a mentor. It’s those day to day activities that are much more a part of what they do,” Canady said.
While the view of school resource officers may have changed over the years Canady reminds us that their job description and qualifications has pretty much stayed the same.
You can hear the whole interview now with Mo Canady now.