NSA School Safety Recognition Initiative
Referencing school safety today, there are three areas of concern which have come to the forefront for both educators and school safety law enforcement stakeholders: 1. COVID-19, 2. Defunding police and 3. Diversity and inclusion.
- COVID-19: Paramount to school leadership today is implementing local, state, and federal COVID-19 mandates to include procedure and protocols to re-introduce both staff and students back onto the physical campus.
- Defunding Police: Given participating schools terminating existing contracts with corresponding law enforcement agencies resulting in reduction of SROs, community agency interoperability and attenuation of those incident control measures which may further compromise school safety.
- Diversity and Inclusion: During this time of civil and social unrest, schools continue with increased dedication to promoting respect for diversity and inclusion. Addressing diversity and inclusion should remain on equal footing with the priority of COVID-19 and recommended practices to ensure school safety.
The School Safety Recognition Initiative (SSRI) is a voluntary self-assessment process designed for schools to gain a certificate of recognition from national law enforcement school safety stakeholders1 for their efforts in implementing and maintaining effective school safety, security and emergency preparedness.
United States Department of Justice (DOJ)/ Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) has approved and funded this National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) SSRI effort based on the intended purpose of providing recognition for those schools utilizing recommended school safety practices as listed in the NSA School Safety Resolution.
- To strengthen relationships between law enforcement school safety stakeholders, their federal partners and school leadership.
- To engage collaborative agencies in sustainment and improvement of effective school safety preparedness.
- To proliferate proactive and functional community interoperability2.
- To incentivize school leadership to incentivize school leadership to re-engage school safety as a priority in the wake of allocating majority resources to address the many challenges of the COVID pandemic.
An online application consisting of a brief set of self-assessment categories is made available to any United States school organization. Once submitted, the information is then reviewed and evaluated. Selected school organizations receive a “Letter of Recognition” including the logos of all collaborators.
There are six categories of questions:
- Category 1. School Safety Community Stakeholders
- Category 2. Risk Assessment
- Category 3. Behavioral Assessment/Emotional Security Measures
- Category 4. Physical Security
- Category 5. Policy and Procedures
- Category 6. Emergency Preparedness
1Members of the National Law Enforcement School Recognition Initiative Advisory Board include the National Sheriffs’ Association, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the Major County Sheriffs of America (MCSA), the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE), and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE).
2Engaging school officials working with local and/or state law enforcement, fire service, emergency management, mental health, court, probation and public health officials, it is intended to enhance community interoperability and provide presentable evidence that school leadership has carefully re-evaluated prevention and preparedness approaches.