ST. LEO, FL – Schools administrators across the nation now have access to a tool that can help assess and validate their efforts to enhance school safety. The National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) and Saint Leo University’s Center for Alternative Pathway Programs (CAPP) have partnered to develop the NSA School Safety Recognition Initiative, which consists of an online assessment that evaluates the effectiveness of a school’s safety efforts against six key categories, as outlined in the association’s School Safety Resolution.
NSA is one of the largest nonprofit associations of law enforcement professionals in the United States, representing more than 3,000 elected sheriffs across the nation. The organization’s School Safety Recognition Initiative was created following the Parkland, FL, school shooting to create closer bonds between schools and their law enforcement partners. One of the main goals of the initiative is to help incentivize schools to re-engage school safety as a priority and to help improve school safety preparedness.
Saint Leo University was chosen as an educational partner for the project because of its history and success in facilitating online learning. The university also offers four-year degree programs in criminal justice and emergency management.
“We are excited to work with the National Sheriffs’ Association to help elevate the dialogue around school safety preparedness,” said Cindy Lee, director of Saint Leo University’s Center for Alternative Pathway Programs. “By completing the application, school administrators can assess whether the steps they have taken align with the National Sheriffs’ Association’s recommendations and best practices for school safety.”
To participate in the School Safety Recognition Initiative, school administrators complete an online application that assesses their school’s safety preparedness efforts against six categories which include: community stakeholders; risk assessment; behavioral assessment/emotional security measures; physical security; policy and procedures; and emergency preparedness. The online assessment costs $65 and can be accessed using the following link.
School Safety Recognition Initiative Application
Once administrators complete the assessment, Saint Leo University reviews and evaluates the results. Schools that successfully meet all the criteria receive a letter of recognition from the National Sheriffs’ Association for their efforts to keep their students, faculty, and staff safe.