Hiring Safety Personnel for School Safety

When it comes to employing individuals to protect the students and staff at your School District, there are a variety of options available. “School security personnel” encompass School Police Officers (SPO’s), School Resource Officers (SRO’s) and School Security Guards.

School administrators across Pennsylvania grapple with the crucial task of ensuring student and staff safety. A critical component of this mission is selecting the most suitable on-campus security personnel. Here at Maiello Brungo & Maiello (MBM Law), our well-versed education law team counsels school districts in Pittsburgh and beyond to make informed decisions regarding their security needs.

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Understanding School Security Personnel Differences

School Security Guards

These individuals serve a vital preventive role by monitoring student behavior, directing visitors, and maintaining a safe environment. Unlike SPOs and SROs, they lack police powers and cannot carry firearms or make arrests. However, qualified security guards are often readily available and require less stringent training and certification.

School Resource Officers (SROs)

Commissioned law enforcement officers stationed within the school, SROs possess full police powers, including the authority to arrest and carry firearms. They offer a significant layer of security but are subject to agreements with local police departments, potentially limiting coverage or availability.

School Police Officers (SPOs)

SPOs can be either law enforcement officers employed directly by the school entity or individuals appointed by court order. They share the same police powers as SROs and provide maximum control over security personnel. However, appointing an SPO involves a separate legal process, including court approval and specialized training.

Don’t navigate the complexities of school security alone. Contact MBM Law today and let us help you create a safe and secure learning environment for your students and staff.

Finding the Right School Security Personnel Fit for Your School District

Each security personnel type offers distinct advantages and considerations.

  • Security guards provide a cost-effective solution for basic security needs.
  • SROs deliver a strong law enforcement presence but may have limitations on availability.
  • SPOs offer the most control but require a lengthy legal process for appointment.

At MBM Law, we understand the unique challenges faced by school districts in Pennsylvania. Our experienced education law team can guide your administration through the legalities of each security personnel option and help you craft a comprehensive security plan tailored to your district’s specific requirements.

Trust MBM Law for Guidance on Education Legal Matters

While there are pros and cons to all of these roles, they share commonality in that these individuals help to keep the students in your District safe. The knowledgeable educational law firm of Maiello, Brungo & Maiello has successfully assisted multiple Districts in Pennsylvania with the acquisition and structuring of security personnel, and can help craft a plan that works best for the needs of your District.

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Christina L. Lane
Christina L. Lane

Christina Lane is an accomplished school, municipal, labor and employment attorney representing public sector employers. She has extensive knowledge and experience with Title IX and often serves as a third-party investigator.