The Arkansas Center for School Safety provides free training and resources to help build the capacity of school staff, state leaders, and law enforcement professionals to create safe learning environments for Arkansas children.

See how our programs can help you meet the Safety Initiatives established by the LEARNS Act.

(Download our printable LEARNS Act Resources flyer for easy reference.)


1.) Within eighteen (18) months of being assigned or employed by the public school district, complete a 40-hour basic school resource officer training program developed and provided, or approved, by the Arkansas Center for School Safety.

The Center provides this 40-hour training, SRO I (Basic), four times a year to provide newly appointed school resource officers with the knowledge and skills they need to effectively understand and perform their unique and diverse roles on the school campus. SROs will gain a working knowledge of the triad concept, their roles and responsibilities and how to build positive relationships with both students and staff.

2. ) SROs should attend a training in youth mental health as required by the State Board of Education. This training shall be obtained every four (4) years if the school resource officer remains assigned to or employed by a public school district.

Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) teaches participants how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health and substance use challenges among children and adolescents ages 6-18. The curriculum includes a five-step plan to address common signs and symptoms of mental health challenges in this age group, common signs and symptoms of substance use challenges, how to interact with a child or adolescent in crisis, and how to connect the youth with help.

To request this FREE training in your school or school district,
contact Keith Graham: 501-570-8098 or [email protected]

(PLEASE NOTE: SROs taking YMHFA from other training entities must send a copy of their course certificate to Keith Graham.)

3.) Within five (5) years of receiving the initial basic school resource officer training program, complete a 16-hour school resource officer refresher training developed and provided, or approved, by the Arkansas Center for School Safety. 

The Arkansas Center for School Safety provides the 16-hour SRO Refresher training for School Resource Officers who previously completed the SRO I Basic course five or more years ago. This course covers a variety of current school safety topics, including new school safety laws, to advance the school resource officer’s knowledge and skills as they work on the school campus.

4.) Annually complete twelve (12) hours of public school-specific continuing education developed and provided, or approved, by the Arkansas Center for School Safety.

The Center utilizes both online instruction and classroom-based, hands-on training in a variety of topics that increase knowledge and skills related to school safety issues. Available training includes:

Identifying and Preventing Bullying • Autism Spectrum Disorders
Human Trafficking Awareness for Educators • Social Media and Internet Safety
Managing Gangs in Schools • School and Suicide: Prevention and Postvention
Strategic Communications for Interacting with Juveniles • Victimization of Youth
Drug Impairment Training for Educational Professionals (DITEP)
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

(PLEASE NOTE: Only school safety training developed and provided or approved by the Center will qualify to meet this requirement. Any non-Center courses must be approved by the Center. Please send all course materials for review and approval to Keith Graham.)

5.) A public school district or open-enrollment public charter school shall conduct a comprehensive school safety audit assessment every three (3) years to assess the safety, security, accessibility, and emergency preparedness of district buildings and grounds in collaboration with local law enforcement, fire, and emergency management officials.

Our School Site Safety Assessment and Audit Training focuses on the use of a free U.S. Department of Education app (SITE ASSESS) that was customized and designed specifically for school campuses in Arkansas to allow personnel to walk around buildings and grounds and examine safety, security, accessibility, and emergency preparedness. The app generates a customized to-do list that may be used in the short term and long term to address facility improvements, prompts teams to share pertinent information with first responders, and contains relevant resources on several school facility and preparedness topics.

To provide participants with hands-on, practical experience, a portion of this class includes an actual walk through and physical evaluation of a school site.

6.) Each public school district and open-enrollment public charter school shall establish a behavioral threat assessment team. All team members will receive basic and advanced behavioral threat assessment training through the Arkansas Center for School Safety or another organization or entity approved by the State Board.

Through a Bureau of Justice Assistance grant, the Center provides FREE training and resources to assist Arkansas school districts, both public and private, to develop effective behavioral threat assessment teams and processes.


Threat Assessment Toolkit
Introduction to Behavioral Threat Assessment ONLINE
Basic Behavioral Threat Assessment (IN PERSON or VIRTUAL)
Advanced Behavior Threat Assessment (IN PERSON or VIRTUAL)

7.) All school staff should complete mental health awareness training

The Center offers Basic Mental Health Awareness for Educational Staff Online, a 1-hour online course designed by professionals in the field to help those that work within the educational setting understand the basic concepts around mental health. This course covers the six common groups of disorders that affect children and youth as well as some signs and symptoms to look for when working with this age population. In addition, participants will get a better understanding of what educators may see in the classroom as well as strategies to assist when working with students. The course offers resources to help participants understand what to do to ensure youth get the help that some may need.

8.) School nurses and staff should attend training that enhances the emergency medical response within schools, including opioid overdose.

While the LEARNS Act encourages school nurses and other staff to attend opioid overdose training, Act 811 of 2023 REQUIRES all school nurses and school resource officers to carry the opioid overdose antidote, Naloxone, and to report any administration of this drug to the Criminal Justice Institute. School nurses and SROs who do not currently carry Naloxone should contact Anthony Tidwell at 501-570-8051 to receive training and a naloxone kit.

For opioid overdose resources and mandatory reporting, please visit
To download this FREE mobile app, please access the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

9.) Cybersecurity policies and procedures should be reviewed and updated annually. 

Since 2019, cyber incidents impacting schools has significantly increased. The most common type of cyber-attack occurring in schools is ransomware, a type of malicious software designed to block access to computer systems and/or publish personal data unless a ransom is paid. As a result of denial of access to student and parent data, schools become unable to continue daily business. In 2021, school ransomware attacks impacted close to 1 million students, with an average downtime of 4.26 days and average recovery time of almost 30 days, and an estimated cost of $3.56 billion nationally (Comparitech, June 23, 2022). For Arkansas specifically, there were three cyber-attacks impacting 8 schools and 9,104 students.

Securing the school’s cyber infrastructure is the responsibility of everyone. Individuals are the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain and are susceptible to phishing attacks and social engineering schemes that can provide a gateway to malware being installed on vulnerable systems. To diminish these risks, cybersecurity awareness training is critical. The National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium (NCPC) provides FREE high quality in-person, virtual or online cybersecurity training to local jurisdictions, counties, states, tribes, territories and the private sector. NCPC training is designed for end users, technical personnel and leadership. The Criminal Justice Institute is one of the founding members of NCPC.

Find more information about NCPC and the FREE training available at