What is the School Resource Office (SRO) Certificate?
School resource officers in Arkansas can now earn various levels of certificates that acknowledge their achievements for training and dedicated service to their schools and communities. School-based policing is one of the fastest growing areas in law enforcement and effective SRO programs utilize special training and expertise that law enforcement officers should possess in order to effectively serve the school community. SROs help to ensure a safe and secure school campus by serving their schools through the SRO Triad Model of educator, informal counselor and law enforcer. These various certificate levels ensure that SROs have received specialized school safety training which will be of benefit to both the officer and the school district they serve.
Who can apply for a SRO Certificate?
To be eligible for the award of a certificate, each applicant must be a sworn law enforcement officer appointed by a law enforcement agency located within the State of Arkansas. Applicants must be a current School Resource Officer.
How do I apply for a SRO Certificate?
All applications for an award of the Basic, Intermediate, Advanced or Senior Certificate shall be completed on the Application for Award of School Resource Officer Certificate form found on the Arkansas Center for School Safety website. Click here to access the form.
What are the advantages of earning the SRO Certificates?
These various certificate levels ensure that SROs have received specialized school safety training which will be of benefit to both the officer and the school districts they serve. The SRO certificate acknowledges specific training for school safety issues that the SRO has received and can help to strengthen the SRO program within the school district. Earning a SRO certificate could also have a monetary incentive for those departments that recognize certificate pay.
What is the approval process for determination of the awarding of a certificate and how long does the process take?
Once an application is submitted, it will be reviewed by a committee made up of school resource officers, school administrators, a representative from the Criminal Justice Institute’s Arkansas Center for School Safety, a representative from the Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education and a representative from the Arkansas Safe Schools Association. Depending upon the level applied for, the time required for the approval process may vary (i.e. review of the application and required documentation required in the Senior Level IV would take longer to review than the Basic level). You should receive notification regarding the outcome/status of your application within 30 days.
If I took the required training for each of the levels through CJI, do I need to provide documentation for these trainings?
Training that was taken through CJI should not require additional documentation.
How do I send any required supporting documents with my application?
Any required supporting documents should be emailed to Vicki French at [email protected]
How will I be notified regarding the outcome of my application?
You will receive notification regarding the outcome of your application via the email address that you provide on your application form.
What are some examples of initiated student programs?
Some examples of a program that is initiated and provided by the SRO for the students at his/her school include any state or nationally recognized programs such as D.A.R.E, G.R.E.A.T, Smart Choices Better Chances or any self-initiated program that has been implemented by the SRO. If the program is a self-initiated one, please be sure to include a brief description as well as the target area for the program.
Does each new level application require a new letter if one was already sent with a previous level?
Yes. New letters of support must be provided (when required) for each level that is being applied for.
Are there specific college classes that have to be taken in order to satisfy the college credit requirement?
The only required college class is completion of at least 3 hours in English Composition or Technical Writing. The other college hours may be earned in any other areas.
Is the required SRO Basic or Intermediate training only acceptable if it was earned through CJI?
No, SRO Basic and Intermediate training acquired from other agencies/sources, other than CJI, will be accepted on a case-by-case basis. Supporting documents showing completion of these trainings will need to be provided along with the application form. Examples of other trainings accepted from other agencies/sources include NASRO or Corben and Associates.
If I meet all the requirements for the Intermediate, Advanced and Senior Level certificate can I apply for only that level or must I first apply for all the level(s) before it?
The levels must be earned in chronological sequence. Therefore, you must apply and be approved for the Basic Level Certificate before applying for the Intermediate Level and so on.
*Any other questions, that have not been addressed here, will be submitted to and addressed by the committee as needed.