School Security Officers and School Resource Officers
Who are they, and why are both assigned to a school? School security officers and school resource officers work in tandem, but each has a very different set of responsibilities. School security officers, or SSOs, are hired by the School Board and are responsible for ensuring the safety and security of the learning environment. SSOs also enforce the HCPS Code of Conduct. School resource officers, or SROs, are employed by the Henrico Division of Police and are assigned to the school to deter crime, conduct investigations and enforce the laws of the commonwealth of Virginia. Both wear uniforms, but SSOs are unarmed.
SSOs are trained and certified by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services and must seek recertification every two years. While they take their daily assignments from their school principal, they are part of the HCPS Office of Safety and Security. The SSOs are trained in search and seizure, emergency readiness and conflict management. They take classes in suicide prevention, bullying prevention, first aid, CPR, and child abuse and neglect. SSOs are encouraged to develop a positive rapport with the students. The SSOs are often the first school employees a student sees every day, and they are usually the first on the scene of an incident. School security officers and school resource officers are well-trained and work hand-in-hand to keep our students, staff and visitors safe.
School Crossing Guards
School crossing guards are employees of the Henrico Division of Police and are assigned to work at schools to help students cross streets safely. They provide a valuable service to their schools and have an excellent safety record. A school crossing guard’s role is often misunderstood. Their responsibility is to manage the gaps in traffic to help children cross the street. They do not direct traffic. Often, they will wait until several children are on the corner, and then they look for a gap in the traffic. When they can do so safely, crossing guards step into the crosswalk to make sure traffic stops each way, and then they signal the students to use the crosswalk to cross the street. When all children have reached the other side, the crossings guards return to the sidewalk and the traffic begins to move again. Crossing guards work for an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon. If you are interesting in becoming a Henrico school crossing guard, please contact the Henrico Division of Police.