With parents trusting schools to ensure the safety and security of their children while on their premises, it is imperative that every school invests in a school safety program. Aside from inspecting and ensuring that all facilities, structures, and transportation are up to the set standards, it is also necessary for a school to hire a school safety officer to regularly check that the immediate vicinity leading to the school is safe and secure. There are various qualifications and requirements that a school should look at when hiring a school safety officer. A school needs to hire the right person for the job.
Here are the qualifications of a school safety officer
- A school safety officer candidate should be at least a high school graduate. Most schools desire a degree in a technical or vocational school specializing in criminology, public administration or healthcare.
- Graduation or enrollment, with at least one year completion in courses, in a Police Officers Standard and Training (POST) program is a rigid requirement. Passing of the POST accreditation examination will eventually be required as well.
- The candidate must be well versed in the state’s penal and education codes. He or she must also have working knowledge of law enforcement procedures and familiar with all the city or county ordinances relating to criminal matters.
- A prospective school safety officer must be knowledgeable in the district school safety rules and regulations, juvenile court law, crowd control techniques, handgun use and safety measures, first aid and life saving techniques based on the American Red Cross standards, and policies of local enforcement and emergency agencies.
- A candidate must have a valid driver’s license enabling him or her to operate motor vehicles. He or she is required to be physically fit to handle all tasks required for the position.
Apart from these requirements, a school safety officer must be organized and law abiding. The officer should also have an instinct in conducting investigations and must possess a certain level of communication skills.
All these qualifications are pretty much standard as it is needed to fulfill the vast array of responsibilities a safety school officer is given.
The responsibilities of a safety school officer are as follows:
- A school safety officer is responsible for the overall school security in the school premises and the surrounding neighborhood leading into the school. Patrolling the assigned areas, either by foot or motor vehicle, part of the security methods an officer will do. An officer is liable to take note of any safety hazard and report it to all of the relevant local agencies.
- He is tasked to provide regulations and guidelines to avoid all types of school accidents. Traffic enforcement is a big part of this.
- An officer is in charge of ensuring that all school buses and all types of school transportation are in good working order. He must ensure that all the drivers employed by the school to operate these vehicles are fit and accordingly licensed.
- A school safety officer is also required to respond to any alarms, dispatcher call, and reports of criminal activity in the area or relevant to the school’s security. He or she is required to investigate and criminal action and prepare and submit reports and statistics of all criminal activity to the school district and local law enforcement agencies.
School safety and security is a primary concern by all schools and parents. Having a qualified and experienced school safety officer is one of the safeguards to assure everyone that the children, staff, and school property is safe, secure, and happy.