New School Resource Officers more than just armed guards

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INDIANAPOLIS — With a growing demand for trained School Resource Officers across Indiana, a new group of recruits completed their coursework Friday.

A police officer inside a school can be vital in protecting our kids, creating a line of defense if an intruder gets in and stopping a tragedy in its tracks.

Still, to Officer D.J. Schoeff, who patrols the hallways in Carmel and works as a regional director for the Naitonal Association of School Resource Officers, it’s much more than that.

“We want people to be selected properly, we want the right style of officer in the position,” Schoeff said.

That means training to deal with kids in their everyday environment, teach good habits and provide a positive adult role model.

It’s why a group of more than 30 officers did exactly what the kids are doing: went to class.

Chris Dade was one of them. A Sheriff’s Deputy and security consultant, he was recently approached by a group of charter schools in his area.

“When we first got in the schools, we were pretty much doing things kind of by the seat of our pants,” Dade said.

The training session included speakers, break-out groups and even a test to give Dade and other officers the tools they need to fulfill the growing demand and become teachers in their own right.

“(It’s) just working with kids on making good choices,” Schoeff said.

Now you can ask Dade, as he heads out on his new assignment.

“We’re not glorified security officers. We can provide a service for them that’s beyond the typical, what they would expect,” Dade said

For more on upcoming training sessions through the Indiana School Resource Officers Association, visit the link here.