(KMOV) -- Security officers from some of the St. Louis area’s largest school districts will learn new safety techniques from St. Louis County police on Monday.
The back-to-school renewal course happens every year, but the 2013 eight-hour class will have a special emphasis on identifying and handling students having a mental health crisis.
“[We want to] give them the tools they need for training as far as dealing with a student that may be coming on campus with a crisis or how to deal with a visitor on campus,” County Officer Michael Kaufman said. “For [the school security officers] to have the initial contact, those initial tools on how to deal with somebody in a crisis, this is an added tool that they can use in that environment.”
Thirty-five security officers from Hazelwood, Parkway, Ferguson-Florissant and the St. Louis City Public School Districts will receive the training at the County and Municipal Police Academy in Wellston.
Police officers also hope the time together will give officers from one district to network with those from other districts and learn from one another.
“As school security is concerned, I feel the open exchange of ideas between the districts and us to solve mutual or specific issues is simply the best and most useful practice,” said St. Louis County Central Police Records Commander Lieutenant Jeff Burk in a written statement. “And more importantly, it allows us to work together to accomplish what is best for our children.”
It was last fall when county officers decided to tailor the training to make it more mental health specific. However, officers would not directly answer whether the course will address the school violence that happened across the country during the 2012-2013 school year.
Instead, Officer Kaufman said any additional training tools will “help preserve the peace for everybody at school.”
There will be a similar training session on Monday, July 29, from 8 a.m to 4 p.m. at the Police Academy in Wellston.