Securing our schools
There were more school shootings in 2022 — 46 — than in any year since at least 1999. Since 2018, violent incidents at schools have been on the rise, so it’s no surprise then that many schools are working to shore up security. Beyond access controls and cameras, states across the U.S. are beginning to require armed guards on site.
A challenge to districts
School districts, without enough school resource officers, are scrambling to bring on more security support. While many are turning to guard companies to comply with requirements, some are seeking the support of off-duty officers to supplement existing SRO teams.
The differences between the various types of armed personnel can be confusing. To break it down, there are essentially three solutions:
- School resource officer– An SRO is a full-time, sworn law enforcement officer assigned by the local law enforcement agency (or police department). They receive specialized training in school-based policing and crisis response, in addition to their 40-week police academy training.
- Off-duty officers – ODOs have similar, extensive training and authority. They’re intimately familiar with the local community, have the power to arrest, and can quickly call-in reinforcements as needed. Officers are well-trained in de-escalation techniques and are often able to diffuse a situation before it becomes violent.
- Armed security guards – Armed guards also act as a deterrent to criminals, but don’t carry the authority of an officer. Not every state has rules and regulations governing security services so training varies. While they’re unable to arrest, they can observe and report the crime to police when they arrive as back up.
Summit is here to help
The presence of a uniformed officer sends a strong signal to anyone considering committing a violent act on a school campus and often stops a bad actor in their tracks. For districts unaccustomed to coordinating such a large armed officer presence, Summit Off Duty Services can help.
We centralize and manage the process of engaging off-duty officers. We handle everything from officer placement to payment, and all the details in between. Our service also includes generous general liability coverage to protect the district in case of an accident related to off-duty details. We make it easy for educators to focus on the important work of teaching children and help staff and students feel secure at school.
Insights for School Security
Customer Success Stories
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Summit Security Guide
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