Thursday, February 29, 2024

Here’s a sneak peek at how Hampton’s school resource officers prepare for the school year

HAMPTON — Every school here has one school resource officer.

While school is out and the teachers are off doing their own training and summer activities, the SROs are busy preparing for the upcoming school year.

Master Police Officer Kenneth Wiggins has been an SRO for more than 10 years and is currently assigned to Phoebus High School.

One important aspect of his training is that he and all other SROs are Crisis Intervention Certified.

That means they are qualified to de-escalate highly emotional situations involving children.

“We are trained to calm everyone down and keep the situation safe,” Wiggins said.

The biggest part of their summer training is the state’s Safe Schools Conference that all SROs go to.

That’s where they can share best practices, hear from other SROs at other schools outside of their city and get updates on court rulings from past school-related cases.

One new thing he learned at this year’s conference was that there was an update on search and seizure rules for students.

There are also two trainings put on by the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Department of Criminal Justice Services.

These trainings are all focused on maintaining school safety.

“Keeping students, faculty and staff safe in the school is my main priority,” Wiggins said.

For this upcoming school year the SROs have done their usual school shooter and lockdown training — and Wiggins said there was no new training on active shooters introduced.

When the school year begins, the SRO will hold presentations in classrooms where students can ask questions, the teachers have seminars they attend as well.

To learn more about Hampton City Schools, click here. 

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