CONFIRMS IMPORTANCE OF SROs AND BUILDING TRUST WITH YOUTH
On June 27, the FBI and the Department of Justice hosted the School Safety Summit. The event reviewed best practices and policies for ensuring school safety.
Nearly all the issues discussed are issues that have been publicly supported by the Junior Police Academy, including:
- Troubled students – Warning signs and Behavioral Indicators
- Crisis Intervention – Threat Assessments
- Information sharing – What’s working, What’s not
- Role of school resource officers (SROs), school crisis response plans, law enforcement response
- BJA and COPS-Grants and technical assistance
The Summit started with a presentation by the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit on a report it just released – AStudy of the Pre-Attack Behaviors of Active Shooters in the United States Between 2000 and 2013 – whichassessed the pre-attack behaviors of active shooters to address the question of “how do the active shooters behave before the attack?” and, if possible, “why did they attack?”
This was followed by a discussion on the need for a unified message and public service campaign similar to the “If you see something, say something” campaign.
The need for a unified message came up often in the day’s discussions, including a presentation by the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management on their Safe2Tell program (https://safe2tell.org/), which the State established after the Columbine tragedy in 1999.
The Safe2Tell program ensures that all Colorado students, parents, teacher and community members have access to a safe and anonymous way to report any safety concerns, with a focus on early intervention and prevention.
Summit Makes SROs and Programs Like JPA a Priority Moving Forward
Another significant focus of the Summit was the role of SROs and crisis response plans. SROs, a safety resource in and of themselves, can play a significant role in the local law enforcement agency’s understanding the safety plans of the schools in their district and in information sharing between law enforcement and school administrators.
Since 1992, the Junior Police Academy has provided ways for SROs to build a foundation of trust with students. Indeed, the program has instrumental in the Junior Police Academy has been bringing cops and kids together in a spirit of friendship.
“The program has never been more urgent or relevant to the problems we face as a nation,” states Phillip LeConte, JPA Executive Director.“School safety, the bond between police officers and citizens, even our national character – these are the issues for which JPA offers time tested, inexpensive, effective solutions.”
More on JPA recent gathering in Austin, Texas to chart further ways the program will partnership with schools and communities to truly make our schools safe.
Learn more at www.juniorpoliceacademy.org/