School Resource Officers Receive Training On Youth Mental Health

National Association of School Resource Officers instructors Dr. Janet Nease and David Osterquist present to the March 8 class at MPTC Randolph (Photo courtesy of MPTC)

HYANNIS – The state has partnered with the National Association of School Resource Officers to provide specialized trainings on adolescent mental health and trauma-informed conflict resolution for its school resource officers.

The advanced education is being provided to over seventy SROs at no cost in an effort to support student health and safety and promote positive outcomes for at-risk youth.

The program will help fulfill requirements introduced to the 2021 Police Reform bill, which included updated school resource officer training.

In addition to their requirements as certified police officers, SROs are required to complete specialized training programs and ongoing annual courses on topics such as LGBTQ+ awareness and support, proper methods for interviewing juveniles, and insights from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

“The information that this course provides is essential to SROs, because approximately 20% of adolescent students have mental health issues,” said NASRO executive director Mo Canady.

“By enabling SROs to recognize behavior that’s often linked to mental health needs, we can help officers de-escalate situations, avoid student arrests and connect students with appropriate resources,” he said.

In 2022 600 SROs completed their specialized in-service requirements.

Funding for the training initiative will be supported by Governor Maura Healey’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget recommendation, which proposes a $6.7 million year-over-year budget increase for the Municipal Police Training Committee.

“The MPTC understands the significant importance of safety in our school and communities and remains focused on supporting the development and delivery of world class training for law enforcement throughout the commonwealth,” said MPTC Executive Director Robert Ferullo.

“Collaboration with subject matter experts, advocates and community organizations ensures we are equipping officers across the Commonwealth with relevant and vital resources.”

To learn more, click here.

By, Matthew Tomlinson, NewsCenter

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