Working with School Resource Officers and Law Enforcement

Table of Contents:

Law enforcement should be an integral part of your campus BIT. Law enforcement is often onlv consulted on high-level threat cases, such as when the school


feels an arrest is needed or appropriate. This limited application is a mistake and several leading law enforcement groups in the United States have directly' pushed back on this idea (National Threat Assessment Center [NTAC], 201S; MSD, 2019; National Threat Assessment Center, 2019). As with other vital positions on the BIT, law enforcement should be considered as a primary role and a position that attends every meeting (Randazzo & Plummer, 2009; Van Brunt, 2012; Sokolow et al., 201+; Schiemann & Van Brunt, 2018).

Law enforcement brings a unique set of skills and resources to BIT, skills not commonly found anywhere else in the campus community. Thev have access to additional databases that can assist in the information-gathering stage of BIT, such as vehicle databases, firearms ownership and arrest records. Additionally, law enforcement often brings a higher level of skill when conducting interviews and obtaining witness statements. Thev have more flexibility and can reach beyond the tr aditional walls of the school setting. These “knock and talks” with students of concern or witnesses provide much needed context and additional intel on threat cases. For instance, law enforcement will have the ability to reach an on-call judge to obtain a temporary restraining order (TRO), serve a red-flag protection order confiscating firearms or take a subject into custody for a mental health hold.They have the ability to respond after traditional business horn s to addr ess students of concern or victims.

These skills and abilities are vital for schools addressing short term after-hours needs, providing a larger context to cases and assistance diffusing a cr isis safely. Schools and colleges are limited to in-house conduct parameters such as “no contact” directives that, if violated, lead to discipline or removal from the school. A TRO, or protective order, can be enforced by law enforcement, and an immediate arrest can be made in most cases. Law enforcement brings an invaluable set of skills to the table and should be included in each BIT/CARE meeting that occurs.

Moving Forward

The next chapter takes a deeper look at intervention and management teclmiques from a case-management informed process for both the K-12 and college/uni- versity settings. This chapter provides a deeper dive into the role of the case manager addressing dangerous behavior on campus. For schools that do not have a case manager, any member on the team can be trained in intervention, and tills chapter outlines some important approaches to intervention.


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