Colo. District Hires Armed Security Officers for Middle Schools

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — School District 51 officials plan to hire armed security officers, who will not have arresting power, to patrol four middle schools.

In the spring, the district will deploy two security officers — one based at East and Orchard Mesa middle schools and the other based at West and Bookcliff middle schools, The Daily Sentinel reports.

District 51 officials decided to place the officers in middle schools because they will be able to handle disciplinary issues common at middle schools. In contrast, the district has school resource officers at its high schools, where disciplinary issues are more likely to coincided with criminal instances.

Security officer candidates must have Peace Officer Standards and Training Board certification. Additionally, they must have worked in law enforcement within the last two years. All candidates will undergo psychological testing, background checks and a polygraph test.

If the budget allows, the district plans to have one security officer in all middle schools.