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What training do school police officers and school resource officers need to do the job?
This varies a good bit between the two jobs and what functions school police officers are asked to do.
For starters, there is a major difference between school police officers and school resource officers.
School resource officers are police officers employed by a municipal police department who are assigned to work within a school or school district. So a school resource officer for a local school district could be a uniformed officer employed by the local police department who is assigned to work in the schools.
These officers have to undergo the typical training of any other uniformed officers, like successfully completing police academy.
School police officers are different and vary in what the scope of their powers is. School police officers are employees of the school district who may be given policing powers if the district petitions the courts to do so.
At the most basic, a school police officer is a district employee who is tasked “to enforce good order in school buildings, on school buses and on school grounds in their respective school entities or nonpublic schools,” according to state law.
A school police officer generally does not have the power to make arrests or file summary or criminal charges unless the district petitions the courts and receives approval from the courts.
If the officer is given policing powers, which can range from basic functions like filing summary citations to full police powers, including carrying a firearm and seeking felony charges, the officer must complete the annual training requirements for police officers: 12 hours of in-service training and maintain CPR, AED and first aid certification, according to the Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission.
School police officers and school resource officers also have different jurisdictions.
While school resource officers are assigned to a school district, they have policing power throughout the jurisdiction of the department who hired them.
A school police officer’s jurisdiction would be limited to just the school district.
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