Mississippi - School Resource Officer Training: Staff Qualifications and Professional Development

Area: 
Staff Qualifications And Professional Development
Policy Type: 
statute; regulation
Summary: 

State law requires SROs to complete specialized training to meet the safety needs of the school environment.

Mississippi Code 1972 37-7-321 Employment and designation of peace officers; minimum level of basic law enforcement training required; operation of radio broadcasting and transmission station; interlocal agreements with other law enforcement entities for provision of certain equipment or services

(1) The school board of any school district within the State of Mississippi, in its discretion, may employ one or more persons as security personnel and may designate such persons as peace officers in or on any property operated for school purposes by such board upon their taking such oath and making such bond as required of a constable of the county in which the school district is situated.

(2) Any person employed by a school board as a security guard or school resource officer or in any other position that has the powers of a peace officer must receive a minimum level of basic law enforcement training, as jointly determined and prescribed by the Board on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Training and the State Board of Education, within two (2) years of the person’s initial employment in such position. Upon the failure of any person employed in such position to receive the required training within the designated time, the person may not exercise the powers of a peace officer in or on the property of the school district.

(3) The school board is authorized and empowered, in its discretion, and subject to the approval of the Federal Communications Commission, to install and operate a noncommercial radio broadcasting and transmission station for educational and vocational educational purposes.

(4) If a law enforcement officer is duly appointed to be a peace officer by a school district under this section, the local school board may enter into an interlocal agreement with other law enforcement entities for the provision of equipment or traffic control duties, however, the duty to enforce traffic regulations and to enforce the laws of the state or municipality off of school property lies with the local police or sheriff’s department which cannot withhold its services solely because of the lack of such an agreement.


Mississippi Administrative Code 7-192 Mississippi School Safety Manual

School Safety Personnel

Assignment of personnel shall be based on the school safety assessment, threat profile, needs of the district, and funding availability. In accordance with Miss. Code Ann. § 37-3-321, all security or law enforcement personnel assigned to a school district on a full-time basis (greater than 75%) must be certified by MDE within 2 years of appointment if employed directly by a school district. The School Resource Officer (or SSO/CEO) shall be an integral part of all safety planning areas since this individual is responsible for safety planning and response.

School Resource Officer (SRO)

  1. Definition: An officer, commissioned by a local law enforcement agency or school district, who has at least three (3) years of full time commissioned law enforcement service and is a graduate of the Basic Law Enforcement Officer Training Program and the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) School Resource Officer Basic Course. This officer shall be supervised by the superintendent or their designee, excluding principals. The officer typically spends 40% of their time in enforcement and security administration, 30% teaching character related education subjects, and 30% mentoring at-risk students.

  2. Duties/Qualifications: Must be at least 24 years of age and have at least three (3) years of law enforcement experience prior to assignment. The SRO is assigned to a school district on a full-time basis. Duties include school safety planning, enforcement, teaching, and mentoring. It is recommended that the SRO have an assigned office space, computer, and phone line. This allows the SRO to have a location to write reports, maintain intelligence logs, communicate with surrounding Law Enforcement for situational awareness, and research items that may provide safety and security to schools. The SRO is expected to be armed and maintain qualifications with the issued weapon every six (6) months. Officers shall be screened for intelligence, ability to teach subjects within their area of expertise, and their ability to interact with students. The SRO is not merely an armed security guard.

  3. Minimum Training Standard:

    • a. Completion of the Police Officer Basic Course (reserve basic is not acceptable).

    • b. Completion of the MDE School Resource Officer Basic Course within two (2) years of appointment (See MS Code 37-7-321).

    • c. 40 hours per year of MDE sanctioned in-service training.

Campus Enforcement Officer (CEO)

  1. Definition: An officer, commissioned by a local law enforcement agency or local school district in accordance with Miss. Code Ann. § 37-3-321 who is a graduate of the Reserve Police Officer Basic Course and is assigned enforcement, security, and safety duties.
  2. Duties/Qualifications: The Campus Enforcement Officer (CEO) is a School Safety Officer that is commissioned by a local law enforcement agency that has law enforcement authority. The CEO has authority to carry a weapon and make arrests. The officer is responsible only for enforcement and safety related activities. The Campus Enforcement Officer is not trained in school safety, planning, classroom teaching, or counseling related duties.
  3. Minimum Training Standard:
    • a. Completion of the Reserve Police Officer Basic Course
    • b. 40 hours per year of MDE sanctioned in-service training is recommended.

School Safety Officer (SSO)

  1. Definition: A security and safety specialist, employed by the school district or private security company, who has been contracted by the district to provide
    routine safety and security duties.
  2. Duties/Qualifications: The School Safety Officer (SSO) is assigned routine duties of safety and physical security under the supervision of a School Resource Officer, Campus Enforcement Officer, or school administrator. The SSO does not have authority to carry a weapon or make arrests. The SSO conducts routine patrols, secures buildings, and checks for safety hazards.
  3. Minimum Training Standards:
    • a. Completion of the MDE School Safety Officer Basic Course
    • b. 40 hours per year of MDE sanctioned in-service training
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