Safety and Security Staff is a new HB 1214 (2021–22) category of classified staff. It is defined as SROs, school security officers (SSOs), campus security officers (CSOs), and any other commissioned or noncommissioned employees or contractors whose primary job duty is to provide safety or security services for a public school.
School Resource Officer (SRO) is a commissioned law enforcement officer in WA with sworn authority to make arrests, deployed in community-oriented policing, and assigned by the employing police department or sheriff's office to work in schools to build positive relationships with students, and address crime and disorder problems, gangs, and drug activities affecting or occurring in or around K-12 schools. SROs focus on keeping students out of the criminal justice system when possible and should not be used in school disciplinary matters which are more appropriately handled within the educational system. SROs are not school district employees, but rather are employed by the law enforcement agency which has a contractual arrangement with that district. An SRO is a commissioned law enforcement officer working for a law enforcement agency. However, not all law enforcement officers are SROs. It is important to understand that when law enforcement is needed at a school, the responding officer may or may not be the school’s SRO and may not be an SRO at all.
School Security Officer and Campus Security Officer are terms frequently used to identify classified school district employees employed to perform school safety-related functions similar to those of SROs. SSOs and CSOs are district employees, are not commissioned law enforcement officers, and cannot make arrests.
Contracted Security Personnel are licensed professionals who work for private security companies and provide safety or security services for a public school on a contractual basis. Contracted security personnel have met prior training requirements to function in their school safety and security capacity. The Department of Licensing licenses security guards and security companies.