BOSSIER, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The events that took place at Robb Elementary School on May 24 raised questions about school safety including taking a closer look at the role of a School Resource Officer (SRO).
Captain Adam Johnson is the Director of Security at Bossier Parish Schools, he has served as director for five years. He said the roles of an SRO are endless.
“In our Parish, we have POST-certified deputies in all of our schools, that’s Louisiana POST-certified law enforcement officers. They serve as a hedge of protection for all of our public schools in Bossier Parish,“ Johnson said.
He says Bossier Parish Schools hired their first SRO in the mid-1990s.
“They handle all criminal activities that take place within that school campus, and they also respond to any incidents of chaos and things such as that nature.”
In addition to making sure the students and faculty are secure during school hours. They also build relationships and serve as mentors to the students, a perk of the job that Captain Johnson describes as wonderful.
“Relationships with these kids it’s also helpful when bad things can occur. So, they come and tell us. We get these relationships, they come sometimes to tell us things that they wouldn’t necessarily tell their teachers.”
SROs in Bossier Parish Schools participate in a variety of training sessions to prepare for worst-case scenarios.
“In the past five years, we’ve logged over 400 training hours dedicated to things such as active shooter, different responses to different scenarios on school campuses, weapons.”
When school is out, and summer is in for teachers and students, the Bossier Parish SROs stick around, work with the school administration, and prepare for the next school year.
“We have administrators that are there to plan for the upcoming years. We visit with them, we go over protocols, and we go over planning for the following years. New employees that come in, I also assist in helping vet some of those employees with background checks, all that.”
According to Johnson, there are a total of 45 Student Resource Officers in Bossier Parish Schools.