No immediate changes for Missouri school resource officer training
MID-MISSOURI - The Missouri school resource officer training curriculum has yet to experience any major changes despite national incidents in recent months.
Controversy has surrounded school resources officers, after violent incidents between officers and students were caught on camera around the country.
Missouri House Bill 152, passed in 2013, requires Missouri school resource officers to complete 40 hours of basic training before beginning work in schools.
Written by the Missouri Police Chiefs Association, the training curriculum currently covers how to address school intruders, youth mental health, and legal issues for juveniles, among other topics.
Sheldon Lineback, executive director of the Missouri Police Chiefs Association, said, while no drastic changes are being made, he is confident the training will progress as needed.
"I think the dynamics within the schools are always changing" he said. "Its a whole society upon itself. There's challenges within that. I think that the core we have in place right now is going to evolve, and its designed to evolve."
Officer Keisha Edwards is a school resource officer at Rock Bridge High School.
She is one of four school resource officers in Columbia Public Schools.
Edwards said it is important for school resource officers to continue training even after completing what is required.
"You have to always stay on top of the new legislature that's changing, you have to stay on top of all the training, and new language that comes out, in regards to being a police officer inside of the school," Edwards said.
While the training curriculum will likely change with time, her role in the school will remain the same, she said.
"What we do is maintain order. We establish relationships and we maintain the safety of the building," she said. "Like the safety is put in by the school district. We just just help enforce the safety."