School Security Officers (SSOs)
School Security Officers (SSOs) are armed security officers assigned to a CCSD school to help ensure the campus remains safe for its students, staff, and visitors. SSOs are primarily used at schools that do not have a full-time School Resource Officer (SRO). SSOs are employed by the district’s security contractor, but the program is overseen by CCSD’s Office of Security and Emergency Management.
Why are School Security Officers (SSOs) being assigned to certain schools?
The district has a desire for each school to have a full-time security presence. Unfortunately, due to law enforcement staffing constraints, local law enforcement agencies have been unable to provide a School Resource Officer (SRO) for every school. SSOs provide a school without a SRO with a full-time security resource that is available to immediately to respond to situations that arise.
What are the responsibilities of a SSO?
SSOs proactively patrol campuses to identify and address suspicious activity and ensure doors and gates are secure. SSOs immediately respond to security incidents on campus and provide incident stabilization until law enforcement arrives, if appropriate. SSOs work closely with the police officers/SROs that regularly check-in on school campuses to address issues collaboratively.
Will a SSO have responsibility for managing student behavior?
SSOs are not involved in student discipline. They are responsible for the physical security of the campus, not managing student behavior.
What is the difference between a School Resource Officer (SRO) and a School Security Officer (SSO)?
A SRO is a full-time law enforcement officer employed by a local police department or Sheriff’s Office. SROs are assigned to a school and fulfill the roles of a law enforcement officer, informal counselor/mediator, and law-related educator. SROs are armed and possess arrest authority.
A SSO is a full-time security officer employed by CCSD’s security contractor. SSOs are licensed by the State of South Carolina, and they carry a firearm and possess arrest authority on CCSD property. Their primary responsibility on campus is the physical protection of the school.
What are the requirements to become a SSO?
SSOs must possess a security license from the State of South Carolina. Additionally, CCSD requires the following for SSOs:
- At least five (5) years of experience in a profession that provided the incumbent with advanced training and experience in skills necessary for the SSO position such as public safety, handgun proficiency, shoot/no shoot decision making, force protection, crisis response, and campus safety. This training shall have been above the minimum training required of armed security officers by the State of South Carolina. Examples of professions that may provide this experience include law enforcement, military, and/or corrections. Or,
- Any other combination of education, experience, and training as approved by CCSD Security and Emergency Management.
SSOs are interviewed and selected by administrators within the CCSD Office of Security and Emergency Management who are previous law enforcement supervisors.
What training does a SSO receive?
The State of South Carolina establishes minimum training requirements for licensed security officers; however, CCSD requires that SSOs shall have received advanced training and experience above the state requirements. SSOs complete an internal district orientation to ensure they are familiar with topics specific to schools including district emergency response procedures, drill procedures, visitor management guidelines, and the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Does the district intend to replace SROs with SSOs?
No. SSOs are being used at schools where law enforcement agencies are unable to provide SROs.