Thursday, May 26, 2022

Hearing All Kinds of THings

 Forty-eight hours into the aftermath of the Uvalde school shooting, we're hearing all kinds of things.

Latest info is that the shooter came in through an unlocked back door.  That is sad, yet fully understandable.  School staff (both faculty and support staff) want to be able to easily endter a school building and don't want to be bothered with things like locks.  I get it.

I've also heard that the school distirct had some variant of security officer. What he or she was doing as theis situation unfolded is still unclear.  We do know that a Border Patrol SWAT team was in the area and responded, eventually taking down the shooter.  Kudos to them, but from the timeline I'm hearing, they were following standard SWAT protocols, which may or may not have been the right thing to do at the time.

I'm not here to second-guess those guys.  I was not there.  They responded according to their training.

I spent sixteen years serving as a School Resource Officer, and I hold an advanced certification from the National Association of School Resource Officers.  I have some expertise in this field. I retied on April 1, 2918.  I don't think that the training has changed much since then.

Schoool Resource Officers should be trained, certified, law enforcement officers who are currently trained to the standards that every other officer is required to maintain.  Additionally, they should NOT work for the school district, but should be hired and assigned from a local law enforcement agency. A Resource Officer should be, above all things, a cop.

School administrators have lots of things to do in a given day, and love to delegate tasks.  Given the opportunity, the administrator will soon have the Resource Officer doing a laundry list of unrelated tasks that they find onerous or inconvenient.  Let the officer do it.  Morning bus duty, afternoon detention, lots of little tasks that have nothing to do with Law Enforcement.

The one job of a School Resource Officer is to close with and engage a violent intruder.  That is it.  There should be nothing else on the job descriptions.  Most resource officers are personable people who want to stay busy during the day, and they will find ways to be useful.  But, I found it extremely helpful to be able to look an administrator in the eye and refuse a task that was not law enforcement related.

It's a great job, and I had many opportunities to do good police work. I made arrests, wrote reports, solved crimes.  I pulled security at events, and worked closely with other agencies who may have had interest in the area  around the school.  Thankfully, I never had to shoot anyone.


juvat said...

Based on your last sentence, I'd say you did your job...Perfectly!


Old NFO said...

You should be proud of what you were able to do! And I've invoked the 72 hour rule on this event. I'm not saying anything until the facts start percolating out instead of the media hyperbole!