In 2017/18 each SRO attended national certification courses by the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO). It was also awarded the Model Agency of the Year Award by NASRO.
A Basic NASRO certification is designed to equip police officers with the specialized training to operate in a school environment, the latest caselaw updates, and national best practices from lessons learned from a deep pool of experience on the national level. This includes working with school administrators, parents, youth, and staff. Emphasis is on the function of law enforcement in this environment, mentoring students, guest speaking and building positive relationships.
An Advanced certification represents the highest standard of training in the industry. This training includes developing crime prevention strategies with school administrators, a better understanding of the causes of school violence, conducting site assessments, leadership and interviewing skills, technology and social media investigations, legal updates, threat assessments, Incident Command Systems in schools (ICS), and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). It is not typical for an entire unit to obtain the highest level possible.
Additionally, Portland was picked as the host agency for the first-of-its-kind course for police on “Adolescent Mental Health Training for SROs.” Several officers and supervisors at YSD attended this training in the past year.
In addition to this training, most SROs attended training to learn the Salem Keizer Threat Assessment Model. We attended this training with our partners in the school districts and the mental health community. This is the model widely recognized and adopted by our regional partners in the school and SRO community. In 2015 the Oregon Task Force on School Safety recommended each school in the state begin a threat assessment process, which requires collaboration between schools, mental health professionals, and police. Most schools in MESD and PPS began this process in 2018 and they work closely with their SROs to direct a multi-tier support system to at-risk students with this process.
In addition to this national and regional training, Portland’s SROs also attended Oregon training hosted by the Oregon School Resource Officers Association (OSROA). In 2018, OSROA training focused on state-specific legal updates as well as training in Oregon’s Karly’s Law, which reformed child abuse investigation standards in Oregon. In addition to this, there was enhanced training on sex-trafficking as well as use of technology.
Officers also received advanced training in Active Shooter Response before the start of the 2018-2019 school year, as well as a host of internal training specific to our close partnerships within the City of Portland.
Partnerships: YSD has an office with a desk for its partner at Multnomah County’s Juvenile Services Division. She coordinates support programs including restorative justice alternatives to criminalization. This enables our officers to link troubled youth and their families with support programs.