WASHINGTON — Last summer, the Fauquier County school board got its first school security officers. Now, it has passed a resolution to let them carry firearms.
Citing school safety, a resolution allowing Fauquier County school security officers to carry firearms was approved by the county’s school board on Oct. 17. Each officer must first be approved by the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office.
Anyone hoping to be a school security officer for the county must be a former law enforcement officer who left their department in good standing. Officers must also pass a background check and complete training with firearms and active shooter situations.
On its website, the school system announced that the sheriff’s office transferred three school security officers to the school system on July 16. These were the first school security officers to join the county, establishing Fauquier County’s school security officer program.
The move comes as part of a a partnership between the school system and the sheriff’s office to increase school security over the 2018-19 school year.
The sheriff’s office and school system will also add three resource officers and 12 additional security officers to the program before the end of the school year.
The 12 new security officers will be joining the existing school resource officers at Fauquier, Kettle Run and Liberty high schools, as well as Bradley, Brumfield, Coleman, Greenville, Miller, Pearson, Pierce, Ritchie and Smith elementary schools.
The three new school resource officers will be stationed at Southeastern Alternative School, Claude Thompson Elementary School and Mary Walter Elementary School.
The main difference between a school resource officer and a school security officer is that the former is an employee of a local law enforcement agency, while the latter is an employee of the school itself.
The roles have similarities, like the duty to protect the students, but there are differences in the job descriptions and permissions.
Fauquier County has a total of 20 schools in its school system.