State law requires SROs to complete specialized training to meet the safety needs of the school environment.
Florida Statutes 1006.07 District school board duties relating to student discipline and school safety.
(e) If an immediate mental health or substance abuse crisis is suspected, school personnel shall follow policies established by the threat assessment team to engage behavioral health crisis resources. Behavioral health crisis resources, including, but not limited to, mobile crisis teams and school resource officers trained in crisis intervention, shall provide emergency intervention and assessment, make recommendations, and refer the student for appropriate services.
Florida Statutes 1006.12 Safe-school officers at each public school.
For the protection and safety of school personnel, property, students, and visitors, each district school board and school district superintendent shall partner with law enforcement agencies to establish or assign one or more safe-school officers at each school facility within the district by implementing any combination of the following options which best meets the needs of the school district:
(1) Establish school resource officer programs, through a cooperative agreement with law enforcement agencies.
(a) School resource officers shall undergo criminal background checks, drug testing, and a psychological evaluation and be certified law enforcement officers, as defined in s. 943.10(1), who are employed by a law enforcement agency as defined in s. 943.10(4). The powers and duties of a law enforcement officer shall continue throughout the employee’s tenure as a school resource officer.
(b) School resource officers shall abide by district school board policies and shall consult with and coordinate activities through the school principal, but shall be responsible to the law enforcement agency in all matters relating to employment, subject to agreements between a district school board and a law enforcement agency. Activities conducted by the school resource officer which are part of the regular instructional program of the school shall be under the direction of the school principal.
(c) Complete mental health crisis intervention training using a curriculum developed by a national organization with expertise in mental health crisis intervention. The training shall improve officers’ knowledge and skills as first responders to incidents involving students with emotional disturbance or mental illness, including de-escalation skills to ensure student and officer safety.