Students are getting back to school here in Bossier Parish this week, and they were joined by a Bossier Sheriff’s Office deputy at every campus in the parish. While more than 22,000 children in Bossier Parish will be learning their three R’s – reading, writing, and arithmetic – School Resource Officers have also done some learning with their own three R’s – Readiness, Responsiveness and Reliability.
A P.O.S.T.-certified (Peace Officer Standards and Training Council) deputy is assigned to every elementary, middle and high school in Bossier Parish, one of only two parishes in the state of Louisiana; Rapides Parish is the other parish. That assignment comes with an awesome responsibility for Bossier deputies, and that’s why training for such a real school environment is vital.
Lt. Adam Johnson is the Director of Security for Bossier Parish Schools and the supervisor for 38 school resource officers. As a former SRO at Airline High School, Johnson knows just how important training can be.
“Scenario training, things that SROs might encounter inside the schools, whether it be disgruntled persons or an active shooter inside a school,” Johnson said, is conducted for all SROs so they are prepared for any situation.
“We have to train like we are around a whole lot of people,” Johnson noted. “We’ve got a lot of children inside those schools, and they’re not all sitting in one spot. You can’t look and see every one of them, so you’ve got to be very acclimated to your situation.
“We want all of our SROs to be extremely prepared in case that very bad day even comes, God forbid. But if it does, we’ll be prepared,” Johnson said.
Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington worked closely with former Bossier Schools Superintendent D.C. Machen over the past few years to have an SRO on every campus. He continues to work with Superintendent Scott Smith to ensure school security remains a priority.
“Having a fully-trained deputy in a school is such an important aspect of law enforcement and public safety, and having a marked unit in front of that school is a deterrent against crime,” said Sheriff Whittington. “When a parent sends their child to school, they expect that campus to be safe learning environment – that’s what our SROs train for, and that’s why they serve.”
Lt. Johnson takes such a commitment very seriously and is appreciative of the support of the Bossier Parish community and the deputies with whom he serves.
“Bossier Parish is absolutely blessed,” Johnston boasted. “We’ve got the finest men and women serving in our schools that you could ever ask for.”