BALLSTON SPA — The Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office along with the Committee on Policing and Safeguarding Schools is hosting a specialized training for School Resource Officers from around the state this week at the county’s Public Safety Building.
The voluntary one-week pilot course in Ballston Spa is the second of its kind in New York State. The basic-level classes were developed by staff from the Division of Criminal Justice Service’s Office of Public Safety, in conjunction and consultation with the New York State Sheriffs’ Association and subject matter experts, including representatives from state and local education, as well as law enforcement, to establish standardized training for certified peace or police officers who become school resource officers in New York State.
Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo said in a news release, “We at the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office are happy to work with our partners at the Committee on Policing and Safeguarding Schools to provide this important training to School Resource Officers. The training offered this week will provide these officers with the necessary knowledge and skills unique to school safety professionals.”
The training aims to help ensure that school resource officers have all of the tools that they need to address unique circumstances of school environments and respond to students needs with sensitivity, while also maintaining public safety for students and school employees. Topics covered include child brain development, student interactions and communications, including special education students, security checks, threat assessment, emergency response and legal considerations, like student privacy laws, as well as record-keeping and communications with school employees and administrators.
A total of 29 officers from 16 agencies are attending this week’s training, and 27 officers from 12 agencies attended the first pilot in Bath, Steuben County, in July. Participants will provide feedback, which will be considered before the course is presented to the Municipal Police Training Council for review and potential approval in the next month.