Idaho School District Adds Unarmed Security Aides

Idaho School District Adds Unarmed Security Aides

Before school began in mid-August, the new security aides trained with a student resource officer on protocols and expectations for working on campus. Next month, the security aides will undergo active shooter training led by the Twin Falls Police Department.

Twin Falls School District is adding unarmed security aides to its campuses to help increase security and safety for students and staff. The district aims to have 15 security aides, nearly one for each school.

Before school began in mid-August, the new security aides trained with a student resource officer on protocols and expectations for working on campus. Next month, the security aides will undergo active shooter training led by the Twin Falls Police Department.

The Twin Falls School District has partnered with the Twin Falls Police Department for years, employing six student resource officers—one for every middle and high school. The new security aides work with the SROs.

Security aide duties include identifying security risks, patrolling campuses, monitoring recess and lunchtime, checking that school perimeter doors are locked, and ensuring that any visitors to campus have gone through proper check-in protocol at the school office. They also patrol parking lots and hallways at the high schools to keep an eye on students.

Five of the current 13 security aides have a background in law enforcement or security.

“We were hoping we would get some people like that,” operations director Ryan Bowman said. “I’m very pleased with the caliber of the people we have.”

Adding the security aides to campus cost $375,000 this year—approximately $25,000 per aide, including salary and benefits. About $77,000 is funded through the Safe and Drug-Free Schools program, and $66,000 is available in new money from federal Title IV funds. The rest of the funds came from cutting supply budgets across the district by 5 percent.

Whether to arm the new security aides is an ongoing discussion, according to school district spokeswoman Eva Craner. Craner said that arming the aides would require a well-developed, incrementally implemented plan and additional training for employees.

The district has received positive feedback from parents about adding the security aides, according to Bowman. The new positions are part of an initiative to increase security at Twin Falls schools; other goals include upgraded entrances to create security vestibules at older campuses, a Raptor Visitor Management system, and radios to allow school administrators to communicate with other campuses and the district office.

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.

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