Three local law enforcement officers were among 29 from agencies across the state assigned to specific school campuses to graduate from the sixth Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training School Resource Officer III Training last week.
Jackie Grider and Troy Young from the Russell County Sheriff’s Office and Clete McAninch from the Russell Springs Police Department were among the graduating officers that have completed the 120 hours of state mandated training over a three-year timeframe (SRO I, SRO II and SRO III), making them fully certified to work in Kentucky’s school systems.
DOCJT’s SRO training targets the specific needs of officers who are assigned to provide safety and security to the students and staff located inside a school. The SRO courses were revamped after the School Safety and Resilience Act passed in 2019. That year, the training was updated and expanded to serve today’s schoolchildren and administrators.
The three levels of training are now offered to active, certified law enforcement serving as school resource officers. All SROs must complete the SRO I in-service course within one year of their start date. SRO II and SRO III training courses are required to be completed the following two years as the annual in-service training. SRO training includes topics such as working with special-needs students, mental health awareness and trauma-informed action. Firearms and tactics refresher training are also included.
In April, Gov. Andy Beshear signed House Bill 63 into law, which introduces new SRO requirements for school districts. The new law requires that each campus have an SRO by Aug. 1, 2022, if possible.