School Protection Officer Academy
The safety of our schools is of utmost importance and, in light of recent events, increasingly difficult to achieve. The headlines seem to be filled with tragedy after tragedy involving violent intruders, active shooters and violence in the schools.
An armed law enforcement presence with full powers of arrest is the most effective deterrent to violence in the schools, but neither every district nor every school has the resources available to provide law enforcement resource officers or even well-trained armed security officers.
On October 10, 2014, the Missouri legislature enacted SB 656, creating the position of School Protection Officer (SPO) as one way to begin addressing the safety vacuum that can develop in a school environment.
160.665.1 RSMO states, “Any school district within the state may designate one or more elementary or secondary school teachers or administrators as a school protection officer.” The statute further states that, “Any person designated by a school district as a school protection officer shall be authorized to carry concealed firearms or a self-defense spray device in any school in the district.”
This law grants a school district the ability provide an intermediate level of response to violence in the school by allowing designated faculty or administrators to possess concealed firearms and/or a self-defense spray device to assist them in those times when all other security measures have failed and they are forced to take action to protect the lives of the children. The law also requires a minimum of 120 hours of hour training for the SPO that is designed and presented by experienced law enforcement trainers.
The Law Enforcement Training Institute (LETI) is the only training center in Missouri to offer a School Protection Officer Academy. The three-week (120 hours) course meets all of the statutory requirement for SPO certification and includes lessons in use of force justification; emergency response; building search; survival mentality; handcuffing and restraint devices; weapon retention and disarming; ground fighting techniques; basic first aid and CPR; combat first aid and more than 40 hours of advanced firearms training.
LETI has been providing academy instruction for law enforcement officers since 1947. All of the instructors for the SPO academy are active or retired law enforcement officers with a proven track record of experience and exceptional training skill. The mission of LETI is to prepare your designated SPO to be able to confront and counteract violence in your school. Our goal is to provide the training necessary to either interrupt violence before it happens or end violence quickly after it begins.