School Resource Officers (SRO) Tran and Schutt got on a plane earlier this week and headed back to school in sunny Orlando, Florida for the 2022 National School Safety Conference.
Throughout the week, they will be instructed on a wide variety of topics including responding to students in mental crisis, physical security assessments, active shooter scenarios, gang intervention, human trafficking in schools, sexual assaults, active incident management and much more.
The role of our SRO is that of mentor and liaison between our department, students, their families and school staff. The above specialized training furthers our SRO knowledge base which is then shared with the department and school district. It builds upon the SRO knowledge base of how to best handle incidents involving youth, providing youth with resources and assistance as needed and developing a level of trust and understanding so that they have someone within the police department that they can turn to if needed. Having that known contact within the department that they are already familiar with can make the difference between a crime or other serious issue going unreported and getting worse over time or that of one that is resolved quickly and with care due to the ages of those usually involved.
Many former Tukwila students who are now adults often stop and ask our officers working at the mall if (now retired) SRO Harrison or SRO Balcom are still around and to say hi for them. Likewise, our SRO’s remember their former students even years down the road.
In addition to SRO duties, SRO Tran is a Gracie Survival Tactics (GST) instructor for our department. He has imparted his passion for jiu-jitsu into a Bulletproof Training Workshop for Tukwila students to teach them basic jiu-jitsu maneuvers and principles so that they have the training and tools to counter common assaultive behaviors.
SRO Schutt has served as a D.A.R.E. officer for many years prior to becoming a SRO and has been an invaluable asset in developing positive relations with our Tukwila youth through his work both as a D.A.R.E. officer and SRO. He also serves as a department Emergency Vehicle Operators Course (EVOC) instructor for the department.