Student Security Officers

Student security officers in Hamilton County Schools work alongside the student security coordinator at the district level and school administrators to help provide a safe and secure campus for the children and staff in our schools. The student security officers supplement the safety work of school resource officers provided by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department. All safety efforts are put in place with the safety and security of children as top priority.

The SSO will be highly visible on school campuses with a focus on building relationships with students and the community. The SSOs will patrol the campus and be highly visible in the schools. The safety professionals will also foster relationships with local law enforcement agencies serving the local schools to further supplement safety in our schools.

SSO Safety Training

The Student Safety Officers of Hamilton County Schools completed a one-hundred and twenty-eight-hour training class to help refine and enhance the skills necessary to keep the students, parents, staff, and communities in our schools safe. The course enhanced the officer’s skills and knowledge in areas specific to our schools and to help create a safe, secure learning environment.

SSO in training on Signal MountainAs part of this course, our officers trained with the Signal Mountain Police Department and the Signal Mountain Fire Department on response to an active shooter. The instructors for this portion of the training were the SWAT Commanders of the Chattanooga SWAT Team and the administrative staff from the Signal Mountain Police Department. The officers received advanced training at the Chattanooga Police Department firing range and qualified in both daylight and low light conditions. They also received instruction from Judge Philyaw, Juvenile Judge for Hamilton County, on areas specific to Juvenile Law in Tennessee. Amanda Morrison, Assistant District Attorney General for Hamilton County, taught a section on the preparation of criminal cases. The Chattanooga Police Department shared information on the gangs in Hamilton County and strategies that these officers can use to teaching gang intervention.

SSO in trainingThe Student Safety Officers also received instruction from the State of Tennessee Child Protective Services in areas of recognizing child abuse and the mandatory reporting process for the schools and law enforcement in Tennessee. Agent Clay Moore from the T.B.I. taught a section on human trafficking in the state of Tennessee, with Sarah McKinnis, from the Willow Bend Farms Recovery Home.

SSO in training in classroomOther instruction included in the class were: a history of school-based policing, search and seizure in the educational environment, the standard response protocols, as created by the “I Love You Guys Foundation,” dealing with special needs students, how to conduct and prepare a school site safety evaluation, mentoring in schools, teaching techniques, report writing, defusing and preventing school violence, crisis response, and how to recognize and intervene with a student that may be contemplating suicide.