School Security Officers and School Resource Officers
Who are they, and why are both assigned to a school? School security officers and school resource officers work in tandem, but each has a very different set of responsibilities. The school security officer, or SSO, is hired by the School Board and is responsible for ensuring the safety and security of the learning environment. The SSO also enforces the Code of Conduct. The School Resource Officer, or SRO, is employed by the Henrico Division of Police and is assigned to the school to deter crime, conduct investigations, and enforce the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Both wear uniforms, but the SSO is unarmed.
SSO’s are trained and certified by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services and they have to re-certify every two years. They take their daily assignments from their school principal but are actually assigned to the Office of Safety & Security. The SSOs are trained in search and seizure, emergency readiness, and conflict management. They take classes in suicide prevention, bullying prevention, first aid, CPR and child abuse and neglect, and they are encouraged to develop a positive rapport with the students. The SSOs are often the first school employee a student sees every day, and they are usually the first on the scene of an incident. The well trained SSOs and SROs work hand in hand to keep our students, staff and visitors safe.
School Crossing Guards
School crossing guards are employees of the Henrico Division of Police and are assigned to work at schools to help students cross the street safety. They provide a very valuable service to the schools where they are assigned, and they have an excellent safety record. A school crossing guard’s role is often misunderstood. Their responsibility is to work the gaps in traffic to help children cross the street. They do not direct traffic. Often, they will wait until several children are on the corner, and then they look for a gap in the traffic. When they can do so safely, they step into the crosswalk to make sure traffic stops each way, and then they signal the students to use the crosswalk to cross the street. When all children have reached the other side, the crossings guard returns to the sidewalk and the traffic begins to move again. Crossing guards work for an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon. If you are interesting in becoming a Henrico School Crossing Guard, please contact the Henrico Division of Police.