MCPS School Security
SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS
Missoula Police Department has a long-standing relationship with Missoula County Public Schools and currently six police officers serve as school resource officers. A SRO is an officer specifically trained in school-based law enforcement and crisis response. They work closely with the schools using a community– oriented policing concept. The main goal of a school resource officer is to ensure a safe school environment. School resource officers collaborate closely with school staff, implement school emergency plans, and foster positive relationships with youth. School resource officers conduct criminal investigations and investigate threats towards schools.
There is evidence-based research that shows having a school resource officer present reduces the need for the school to call 911, minimizes property damage, reduces student injuries, increased sense of safety, increased likelihood students will get help they need from social services and reduces the likelihood that a student will get a criminal record. School Resource officers are trained in the event of a school threat to move directly to the threat, and to neutralize the threat to prevent further injury or loss of life.
Missoula Police Department trains for emergency response to active threats using ALERRT. ALERRT stands for Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training. Industry wide this is the standard training and over 146,000 law enforcement officers have been trained in ALERRT. Officers are trained in the event of an active threat to move directly to the threat and neutralize the threat to prevent further injury or loss of life.
In February of 2022, MPD officers attended an active shooter refresher and response course. Missoula Police Department is in the process of certifying two additional officers to be ALERRT instructors. It is essential for our department and our community to have instructors to continue training our officers in research based best practices and have officers train response scenarios on a regular basis. Missoula Police Department is part of a multi-jurisdictional response team which is comprised of law enforcement agencies, fire, and medical personnel. Over the last several years Missoula Police Department has been proactively training school staff and other community groups in active threat responses. These classes will continue to be offered through our department.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Communicate with your children and emphasize words matter. Educate your child to never jokingly post on social media about hurting people or carrying out an act of violence. Pay attention to the content your children are viewing on social media and the communication they are having with others on social media platforms. Please report to the police if you have concern about something you see. Missoula Police will investigate the content and the threat. Consider participating in CRASE which will soon be offered locally. CRASE is Civilian Response to Active Shooter Event. CRASE is built on the model of Avoid, Deny, Defend strategy.