Demand for school resource officers rises - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Demand for school resource officers rises

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SHELBY COUNTY - AL - Since the Sandy hook school tragedy, a year and a half ago, there have been 74 school shootings nationwide. Many didn't make headlines. The National Association of School Resource Officers says that's because school officers helped stop shooters. It's a topic coming to parent's minds as they get ready to drop their children off on the first day of school.

There's a big need. In fact, only 12 percent of schools across the U.S. have these resource officers. Here in Central Alabama, we have more than most and parents are saying that's a huge relief.

For many metro students, it's the last night of Summer. Families have spent the week getting ready to charge into a new school year....

"The kids are really excited about starting back," Maggie Bell, a Helena parent said.

...But how safe is your child walking through the classroom door tomorrow? 

The National Association of School Resource Officers, or NASRO, based in Hoover is helping meet the demand for school security - not just here at home, but all over the world.  

"The presence of SRO's has become more important - we see it across the country, we see it internationally as well," Mo Canady, Executive Director, National Association of School Resources Officers said. "We do a tremendous amount of international training - countries like Morocco, South Africa, they're developing programs now based off the models in the United States."

In Etowah County, school resource officers held three day training before school starts.  Many Central Alabama schools have taken the initiative to put one on campus.

"As soon as you walk in the door, there's a police officer there. That's very comforting," Bell said.

"They're not just there watching the door watching for a shooter to come in along those lines," Canady said. "They are deeply engaged with the school community and they're constantly gathering information through those positive relationships they're building."

With 74 school shootings since Sandy Hook, the demand for school officers is huge. This school year, nasro expects to train over 2,000 new officers.  

"With all the recent shootings and tragedies that have happened on campuses, I feel like it's a necessity," Bell said. 
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