State law requires SROs to complete specialized training to meet the safety needs of the school environment.
State of Rhode Island General Laws § 16-21-24. Requirements of school safety plans, school emergency response plans, and school crisis response plans.
(a) School safety plans, as required by this chapter, shall address, but not to be limited to, prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. The school safety plans shall include, at a minimum, the following policies and procedures: (2) Formalized collaborative arrangements with state and local law enforcement and fire fighter officials, designed to ensure that school safety officers and other security personnel are adequately trained, including being trained to de-escalate potentially violent situations, and are effectively and fairly recruited; (3) Policies and procedures relating to school building security, including where appropriate the use of school safety officers and/or security devices or procedures; (4) Policies and procedures for annual school safety training and a review of the school crisis response plan for staff and students.
State of Rhode Island General Laws § 16-7.2-6. Categorical programs, state funded expenses
(i) State support for school resource officers. For purposes of this subsection, a school resource officer (SRO) shall be defined as a career law enforcement officer with sworn authority who is deployed by an employing police department or agency in a community-oriented policing assignment to work in collaboration with one or more schools. School resource officers should have completed at least forty (40) hours of specialized training in school policing, administered by an accredited agency, before being assigned. Beginning in FY 2019, for a period of three (3) years, school districts or municipalities that choose to employ school resource officers shall receive direct state support for costs associated with employing such officers at public middle and high schools. Districts or municipalities shall be reimbursed an amount equal to one-half ( 1/2) of the cost of salaries and benefits for the qualifying positions. Funding will be provided for school resource officer positions established on or after July 1, 2018, provided that: (1) Each school resource officer shall be assigned to one school: (i) Schools with enrollments below one thousand twelve hundred (1,200) students shall require one school resource officer; (ii) Schools with enrollments of one thousand twelve hundred (1,200) or more students shall require two school resource officers; (2) School resource officers hired in excess of the requirement noted above shall not be eligible for reimbursement; and (3) Schools that eliminate existing school resource officer positions and create new positions under this provision shall not be eligible for reimbursement.