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School Safety Advocacy Council Expands Training Opportunities

By Becky Lewis
February 2013

In addition to its ongoing training programs, the School Safety Advocacy Council (SSAC) has introduced Law Enforcement Educational Presence (LEEP), a two-day School Safety Certification Course for Patrol and Reserve Officers.

"As a result of the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook, we worked with law enforcement and school administrators from around the country who are subject-matter experts to create this program,” says SSAC President Sean Burke." If law enforcement agencies nationwide stationed an officer in every school, it would take one-third of the sworn officers in the country.

"The basic idea behind LEEP is to get local law enforcement more involved with the schools in their jurisdiction. LEEP promotes the idea that schools can have a satellite office in their buildings where officers on patrol, officers from specialized units, can set up a schedule to work out of that office part time. That way, they get to know the administrators, they get to the know the students, they get to know the layout of the building. If an emergency response is needed, there is an officer who knows the school and has a relationship with the students and staff. The majority of the potential school shootings in this country that have been averted were stopped because students provided information to an officer with whom they had developed a relationship."

To learn more about the available training on how to establish a LEEP program in your area, visit, the SSAC website. The site also offers information on other specialized services and trainings offered by SSAC, which has trained more than 100,000 law enforcement officers and education professionals in the United States and abroad. SSAC also offers the following on a regular basis:

  • Basic School Resource Officer Certification Course.
  • Advanced School Resource Officer Certification Course.
  • Emergency Management Response in the Educational Setting.
  • Gangs 101: What Every Educator and SRO Should Know.
  • School Law & Liability.
  • School Safety Leadership & Supervision.
  • When Terror Goes to School – Understanding the Threat of Terrorism in Today’s Schools.

In addition to several specialized trainings on bullying, SSAC holds two national conferences each year, one of them the largest conference on bullying in the United States. The agenda for the other 2013 event focuses on emergency response and school shootings. Details on these conferences can also be found on the SSAC website.

"The unique thing about SSAC is that all of the instructors we employ are subject-matter experts who remain active in the field. That’s what sets us apart," Burke says. "There are training programs out there that just focus on school staff, and trainings that just focus on law enforcement, but we bring together the community, the schools and local law enforcement to address school safety and bullying. We see school safety as a community-wide responsibility."