Who do Acts 551 and 622 apply to?
Acts 551 and 622 apply to all Arkansas Public School Districts and Open Enrollment Charter Schools who accept School Resource Officer(s) to their campus.

 

What is the definition of a School Resource Officer (SRO)?
A SRO is a sworn, nonsupervisory, law enforcement professional and assigned to a public school campus or open enrollment charter school during the instructional day or employed by a public school district. If a law enforcement officer in a school supervises SROs and also performs any of the functions of a SRO, that officer must be identified as a SRO and fulfill all training requirements.

 

Are auxiliary officers, assigned to work at a public school or open enrollment charter school, required to meet these training requirements?
If an auxiliary officer is assigned to your school district/open enrollment charter school during the instructional day and they are a sworn law enforcement officer with a local or county law enforcement agency or institutional police department, they are considered to be a SRO and therefore, must meet all training requirements set forth for SROs in Acts 551 and 622.

 

Are law enforcement officers assigned to a public school or open enrollment charter school for only extracurricular activities (i.e. sporting events) required to meet these training requirements?
No. A law enforcement officer who is assigned to a public school/open enrollment charter school for only extracurricular activities is exempt from the SRO training requirements.

 

Are law enforcement officers assigned to a public school only to assist with traffic during school drop off and pick up times required to meet these training requirements?
No. A law enforcement officer who is assigned to a public school/open enrollment charter school to only assist with traffic during school drop off and pick up times is exempt from the SRO training requirements.

 

Are public school districts or open enrollment charter schools with SROs required to have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with their local law enforcement agency?
Yes. A school district or open enrollment charter school board of directors that accepts a school resource officer shall enter into a memorandum of understanding with the local law enforcement agency with jurisdiction that governs the school resource officer and includes without limitation:

(A) The financial responsibilities of each party;  (B) The chain of command;  (C) The process for the selection of school resource  officers;  (D) The process for the evaluation of school resource officers;  (E) The training requirements for school resource officers; and  (F) The roles and responsibilities of school resource officers, which shall include without limitation:  (i) Clarification of the school resource officer’s  involvement in student discipline; (ii) The use of physical restraints or chemical sprays; (iii) The use of firearms; and (iv) Making arrests on the public school campus.

The MOU shall be based on a model memorandum created by the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Arkansas Center for School Safety (ACSS), which shall include without limitation the requirements listed above. The model MOU can be found at https://arsafeschools.com/sro-memorandum-of-understanding/. The DESE shall promulgate rules specifying how the adoption of a MOU or policies and procedures shall be verified.

 

If my district has an institutional police department, are we required to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding?
No but any public school district with institutional law enforcement officers must adopt policies and procedures that include the same requirements as the model MOU developed by DESE and ACSS. The model MOU can be found at https://arsafeschools.com/sro-memorandum-of-understanding/.

 

Are SROs required to receive any specific training when being assigned to a school?
Yes. Sworn, nonsupervisory law enforcement personnel, including without limitation school resource officers, who are assigned to a public school/open enrollment charter school campus during the instructional day or employed by a public school district shall:

    • Within eighteen (18) months of being assigned or employed by the public school district:
      • Complete a forty-hour (40) basic school resource officer training program developed and provided, or approved, by the Arkansas Center for School Safety.
      • Obtain certification in Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA). THE YMHFA certification shall be maintained and renewed every four (4) years if the school resource officer remains assigned to or employed by a public school district.
    • Within five (5) years after receiving the initial basic school resource officer training program, complete a sixteen-hour (16) school resource officer refresher training developed and provided, or approved, by the Arkansas Center for School Safety.
    • Annually complete twelve (12) hours of public school-specific continuing education developed and provided, or approved, by the Arkansas Center for School Safety. This annual twelve (12 hours) is for a January – December calendar year.

 

What training will meet the requirement for the 12 hours of public/open enrollment charter school-specific continuing education for SROs?
In order for training to count toward the required 12 hours of continuing education, it must be developed and provided, or approved by the Arkansas Center for School Safety (ACSS). If the training is received from an entity other than the ACSS, that training should be submitted to the ACSS for approval thirty (30) days prior to the course delivery date. You may be asked to provide specific items related to the training such as a course objectives and description, course agenda and curriculum, and instructor bios. This information should be submitted to Michael Jenkins at the Arkansas Center for School Safety at [email protected].

 

Do the YMHFA and SRO Refresher courses count toward the 12 hours of public/open enrollment charter school specific annual continuing education requirement?
Yes, the eight (8) hour YMHFA and sixteen (16) hour SRO Refresher courses will count toward the required 12 hours of continuing education. 

 

Does the forty (40) hour SRO Basic course count toward the 12 hours of public/open enrollment charter school specific annual continuing education requirement?
No, the forty (40) hour SRO Basic course does not count toward the 12 hours of public school specific annual continuing education requirement.

 

Who will monitor compliance with the continuing education and training requirements set forth in Acts 551 and 622?
The ACSS shall monitor compliance with the continuing education and training requirements set forth in Acts 551 and 622.

 

What are the consequences for a SRO who does not fulfill the training requirements set forth in Acts 551 and 622?
A SRO who fails to complete any required training shall be unable to serve as a SRO until the required training is complete.

 

If my campus has SROs, what are my requirements as an administrator and/or a superintendent?
As a school administrator and/or a school district superintendent, Acts 551 and 622 require specific training requirements to be completed within nine (9) months of a School Resource Officer(s) being assigned to your campus. These requirements include a one-hour school resource officer roles and responsibilities training.

 

If my campus has SROs, what are my requirements as public school district or open enrollment charter school personnel directly responsible for supervising a school resource officer?
If you are an individual who is directly responsible for supervising a School Resource Officer, you are required within one (1) year of employing the SRO to complete a one-hour school resource officer roles and responsibility training.  You will also be required to complete this training every two (2) years.

 

As an administrator, superintendent, or public school district/open enrollment charter school personnel directly responsible for supervising a school resource officer, how can I meet these requirements?
This training must be developed and provided and/or approved by the Arkansas Center for School Safety. A one-hour online SRO Roles and Responsibilities for School Administrators course was developed by the Arkansas Center for School Safety to meet this specific requirement. The link to register for this course can be found on the ACSS website at www.arsafeschools.com

 

What are the consequences for a public school district/open enrollment charter school in which the superintendent or principal have not completed the required training set forth in Acts 551 and 622?
A SRO shall not be assigned to a public school district/open enrollment charter school in which the public school district superintendent or public school principal have not completed the required trainings.

 

How often will my school district or open enrollment charter school be required to report information to the ACSS regarding SRO(s) and training requirements set forth in Acts 551 and 622?
This information will be submitted to the ACSS annually or anytime there are changes to the SRO(s) assigned to the school (i.e. your school adds a new SRO) or when there are changes to the school administrator, superintendent, principal or personnel directly responsible for supervision of the SRO(s) at your school.