SRO training requirements bill passes Senate

Legislation defines law enforcement officer’s role on campus

WNPA Olympia News Bureau

OLYMPIA — The Washington State Senate passed a bill regarding school resource officer training in a bipartisan – 48 in favor and one excused – vote on Tuesday, March 5.

Senate Bill 5141 outlines specific training requirements, such as de-escalation techniques, along with adding grant funding and new requirements for school and law enforcement agreements. The bill adds a clear definition of school resource officers and their goals. Usually referred to as SROs, the officers are commissioned law enforcement professionals often from local police or sheriff departments who work in schools.

Sen. Lisa Wellman, D-Mercer Island, chair of the Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee, spoke in favor of the bill as part of the Senate’s school safety package requirements for law enforcement to notify nearby schools of a lockdown and youth extreme risk protection orders.

“It’s important to have people in place that know the children and speak to the children are someone they can come to,” Wellman said. “…I think that it will continue to help our school safety issues.”

School districts with resource officers each year would review and adopt an agreement with the local law enforcement agency in a process that they create, with the involvement of parents, students and community members.

The agreement must include a statement that SROs cannot be involved in student discipline or school rule enforcement, create district policies and procedures for teachers to identify when officers can be asked to intervene with students, data collection and reporting plan, a system for families to file complaints about SROs, and confirmation that SROs have completed all required training.

School districts would retain the right to choose if they wish to include SRO on campus. The bill creates a definition for SROs, acknowledging that they have the authority to make arrests, but should keep their policing community-oriented.

School districts or law enforcement agencies fund resource officer positions, sometimes with combined funding. The bill would create a grant program under the Office of the Superintendent for Public Instruction to fund this new training. Training and agreement requirements would need to be met by the start of the 2020-21 school year. The bill now moves to the House for consideration.

More in News

DUI at Sedgwick on SR 16 causes two-car accident

Driver at fault taken to Tacoma General with injuries

Kitsap Rescue Mission reaches first fundraising goal

The group, which operates Kitsap’s only overnight homeless shelter, has raised $171,800

Bremerton man arrested for possession of child pornography

A Bremerton man and registered sex offender was arrested Wednesday morning for… Continue reading

Routine traffic stop results in two drug arrests in Bremerton

A routine traffic stop turned into a surprise drug bust for Bremerton… Continue reading

Naval Base Kitsap facilities could house coronavirus patients

If needed, NBK could house 20 patients in one of their lodging facilities

A Ford Explorer collided head-on with a Honda Odyssey along Clear Creek Road. (photo courtesy of KCSO)
Three-car collision bocks Clear Creek Road

Both lanes of Clear Creek Road in Silverdale were shut down Thursday… Continue reading

Kingston theater gathers $190,000 through fundraiser

Donations continue to flow in for Kingston Firehouse Theater

Poulsbo task force makes affordable housing recommendations

The Affordable Housing Task Force, the which has been tapped to help… Continue reading

Suspect at large after fleeing from troopers and crashing in Suquamish

Suquamish police: subject fled into the woods near Totten Road

Most Read