The National Association of School Resource Officers is an organization that provides specialized training to police officers working in public schools. In the wake of the Newtown, CT tragedy, the group has endorsed the NRA's recommendation to add armed school resource officers to every school in the country.
NASRO's executive director Mo Canady issued the following statement:
A well-trained, armed, school-based police officer is one of the best defenses against an active shooter in a school. NASRO agrees that placing school-based police officers in every school that wants one would greatly enhance the safety of children, if such officers are selected carefully and properly trained.
School-based policing requires specialized training not covered in most law enforcement academies. Because school resource officers are much more than armed guards, they need training in teaching, counseling and the special skills required to act as a law enforcement officer in a school setting. In addition, we recommend that all school resource officers receive special training to assure that their responses to an active shooter will be safe and effective.
Published along with the statement is a Q & A which answers basic questions about NASRO's stance on the issue. One of the questions addresses something critics of the policy have raised:
Q: Should anyone else, other than a police officer, be armed on school property (e.g. school staff, community volunteers, etc. who are not law enforcement officers)?
A: No. NASRO believes that only a fully-trained law enforcement officer should carry a firearm on school property. In addition, law enforcement officers assigned permanently to schools should receive specialized SRO training as soon as possible.
Mr. Canady was on Capitol Hill defending SRO programs from progressive critics just four days before the Newtown shooting took place.