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

Area: 
Staff Qualifications And Professional Development
Policy Type: 
Statute
Summary: 

State law encourages SROs to complete specialized training to meet the safety needs of the school environment or requires training in selected schools only.

Code of Virginia § 9.1-184. Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety created; duties.

A. From such funds as may be appropriated, the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety (the Center) is hereby established within the Department. The Center shall:

    1. Provide training for Virginia public school personnel in school safety, on evidence-based antibullying tactics based on the definition of bullying in § 22.1-276.01, and in the effective identification of students who may be at risk for violent behavior and in need of special services or assistance;
    1. Serve as a resource and referral center for Virginia school divisions by conducting research, sponsoring workshops, and providing information regarding current school safety concerns, such as conflict management and peer mediation, bullying as defined in § 22.1-276.01, school facility design and technology, current state and federal statutory and regulatory school safety requirements, and legal and constitutional issues regarding school safety and individual rights;
    1. Maintain and disseminate information to local school divisions on effective school safety initiatives in Virginia and across the nation;
    1. Collect, analyze, and disseminate various Virginia school safety data, including school safety audit information submitted to it pursuant to § 22.1-279.8, collected by the Department;
    1. Encourage the development of partnerships between the public and private sectors to promote school safety in Virginia;
    1. Provide technical assistance to Virginia school divisions in the development and implementation of initiatives promoting school safety, including threat assessment-based protocols with such funds as may be available for such purpose;
    1. Develop a memorandum of understanding between the Director of the Department of Criminal Justice Services and the Superintendent of Public Instruction to ensure collaboration and coordination of roles and responsibilities in areas of mutual concern, such as school safety audits and crime prevention;
    1. Provide training for and certification of school security officers, as defined in § 9.1-101 and consistent with § 9.1-110;

Code of Virginia § 9.1-110. School Resource Officer Grants Program and Fund.

A. From the funds appropriated for such purpose and from the gifts, donations, grants, bequests, and other funds received on its behalf, there is established (i) the School Resource Officer Grants Program, to be administered by the Board, in consultation with the Board of Education, and (ii) a special nonreverting fund within the state treasury known as the School Resource Officer Incentive Grants Fund, hereinafter known as the "Fund." The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller, and any moneys remaining in the Fund at the end of the biennium shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Interest earned on such funds shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it.

Subject to the authority of the Board to provide for its disbursement, the Fund shall be disbursed to award matching grants to local law-enforcement agencies and local school boards that have established a collaborative agreement to employ uniformed school resource officers, as defined in § 9.1-101, in middle and high schools within the relevant school division. The Board may disburse annually up to five percent of the Fund for the training of the school resource officers. School resource officers shall be certified law-enforcement officers and shall be employed to help ensure safety and prevent truancy and violence in schools.

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