This article is part of a collection related to the TXDF School Officer Program.  If this article is confusing, you may benefit from reviewing the School Officer Program Introduction.

As concerns about school safety continue to grow, ensuring a secure campus environment has become paramount. The presence of well-trained security officers plays a vital role in maintaining and enhancing school security. This article delves into the authorities, responsibilities, and unique aspects of the School Officer Program, designed to address the challenges faced in securing educational institutions effectively.

Level 3 License: Authorities and Responsibilities

Level 3 License Overview

A Level 3 license signifies a significant milestone in the security industry. Holders of this license have undergone comprehensive training and met the requirements set by the state. This distinction equips them to provide critical unarmed security services within educational organizations.

Authorities of Level 3 Officers

Level 3 officers are authorized to facilitate access control, ensuring the safety and security of the school campus. Their primary responsibility lies in monitoring and controlling access points, verifying identification, and preventing unauthorized entry.

Responsibilities of Level 3 Officers

  • Access Control: Level 3 officers monitor and control access to school premises, ensuring only authorized personnel gain entry. Their vigilance serves as the first line of defense, safeguarding the school community.
  • Surveillance: Level 3 officers observe and monitor activities, identifying potential threats or suspicious behavior. Their attention to detail protects the campus from potential security breaches.
  • Incident Response: Level 3 officers respond to security incidents promptly and effectively. They take appropriate actions to mitigate risks, ensuring the safety of students, faculty, and staff.
  • Crowd Control: Level 3 officers manage and direct crowds during events, emergencies, or other situations requiring crowd control. Their presence ensures orderly movement and enhances overall security.
  • Emergency Preparedness: Level 3 officers contribute to emergency preparedness by assisting in emergency procedures, implementing lockdowns, and executing evacuation plans. Their training ensures a swift and effective response during crises.
  • Report Writing: Level 3 officers maintain detailed records of incidents, observations, and daily activities. Accurate reporting helps inform analysis, track trends, and drive continuous improvement in security protocols.
  • Collaboration: Level 3 officers closely collaborate with school administrators, faculty, and law enforcement agencies, fostering effective communication and coordination in security matters.

Level 4 License: Authorities and Responsibilities

Level 4 License Overview

A Level 4 license encompasses advanced security training and authorizes security officers to provide armed security services. This license opens up additional opportunities, including personal protection roles within educational institutions.

Authorities of Level 4 Officers

Level 4 officers possess the authority to carry and use firearms in the execution of their security duties. Their specialized training equips them to handle potentially high-risk situations while maintaining the safety and well-being of students, staff, and visitors.

Responsibilities of Level 4 Officers

  • Deterrence and Prevention: Level 4 officers serve as a visible deterrent against potential threats. Their presence alone is often enough to discourage individuals with malicious intent from targeting the school.
  • Firearms Handling: Level 4 officers are extensively trained in the safe and responsible handling of firearms. This includes proper storage, maintenance, and swift and precise deployment of firearms when necessary.
  • Threat Assessment: Level 4 officers possess the skills to conduct thorough threat assessments, identifying potential risks and vulnerabilities. They play a crucial role in developing strategies to mitigate those risks.
  • Emergency Response: In emergency situations, Level 4 officers are prepared to respond swiftly and decisively. They assist in executing emergency response plans, ensuring the safety and security of the school community.
  • Use of Force: Level 4 officers receive in-depth training on the appropriate use of force. They understand the legal parameters surrounding the use of firearms and are adept at making split-second decisions in high-pressure situations.
  • Incident Management: Level 4 officers are responsible for taking charge during security incidents. They coordinate responses, communicate effectively with stakeholders, and prioritize the safety and well-being of all those involved.
  • Training and Certifications: Level 4 officers undergo regular training to maintain their proficiency in firearms handling, threat assessment, emergency response, and other relevant skills. They stay updated on the latest best practices to maximize their effectiveness.
  • Collaboration: Level 4 officers collaborate closely with school administrators, law enforcement agencies, and other security personnel. This collaboration ensures a coordinated approach to school security, with seamless integration and communication.

The Level 4 officers within the School Officer Program bring a heightened level of expertise and preparedness, bolstering the security infrastructure and instilling confidence within the school community. Their unique skill set makes them indispensable assets in the pursuit of maintaining a safe and secure educational environment for all stakeholders involved.

School Officer Program: Volunteer Responsibilities

School Officer Program Overview

The School Officer Program introduces a unique and community-oriented initiative to enhance school security. The program draws upon the dedication and commitment of parent volunteers who play a crucial role in safeguarding the educational environment.

Volunteer Engagement and Commitment

Parent volunteers are the backbone of the School Officer Program, bringing their vested interest in the safety and well-being of their children's schools. Their active involvement and commitment contribute to the program's success in creating a secure environment.

Responsibilities within the School Officer Program

  1. Compliance with Texas HB3: Parent volunteers in the School Officer Program adhere to the requirements and regulations outlined in Texas HB3, ensuring alignment with state laws regarding campus security.

  2. Campus Security: Parent volunteers actively contribute to ensuring the safety and security of the school campus. They participate in access control measures, surveillance efforts, and incident response under the guidance of trained security professionals.

  3. Collaboration: Within the School Officer Program, parent volunteers collaborate closely with school administrators, faculty, and local law enforcement agencies. This collaboration fosters effective communication, coordination, and a shared commitment towards school security.

  4. Training and Professional Development: Parent volunteers undergo comprehensive training programs that equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to fulfill their roles effectively. Training includes areas such as emergency response, safety protocols, conflict resolution, and effective communication.

  5. Documentation and Reporting: Parent volunteers maintain accurate records of incidents, observations, and activities during their service. Detailed documentation assists in analysis, tracking trends, and identifying areas for further improvement in security protocols.

  6. Continuous Improvement: Parent volunteers actively contribute to the continuous improvement of the School Officer Program. They analyze data and performance metrics, providing valuable insights and recommendations to refine security measures and enhance overall effectiveness.

  7. Adherence to Professional Standards: Parent volunteers uphold professional standards, embracing a code of conduct that reflects their commitment to the safety and security of the school community. Their conduct serves as a positive example for students and other stakeholders.

  8. Emergency Preparedness: Parent volunteers play an integral role in emergency preparedness. They actively engage in drills and exercises, participate in the development and implementation of emergency plans, and assist in executing emergency procedures during crises.

The School Officer Program thrives on the active participation and dedication of parent volunteers. Their involvement ensures a community-driven and comprehensive approach to school security, fostering a sense of ownership and shared responsibility within the school community.

Crafting a School District's Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Security Officers

School districts can further enhance their security measures by implementing a comprehensive Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for their security officers. Here are some considerations that districts may find helpful when creating their own SOP:

  1. Single Point of Entry: Does the school have a single designated point of entry to the campus? Implementing a single point of entry helps to control access and increases security by funneling visitors through a controlled area.

  2. Monitoring All Doors: Are all exterior doors monitored, including secondary entrances? Regular monitoring of all doors helps to prevent unauthorized access and ensures that security officers can respond promptly to any breaches.

  3. Locked Interior Classroom Doors: Are interior classroom doors locked at all times during the school day? Keeping interior doors locked enhances classroom security and provides an additional layer of protection.

  4. Visitor Security Process: What is the security process for parents or visitors entering the school during business hours? Consider implementing visitor technology for vetting, such as visitor management systems that require identification and background checks.

  5. Differentiating Lockout and Lockdown: Please explain the difference between lockout and lockdown procedures, and provide parents with insight into what they can expect when attempting to gain access during those times. Clear communication and understanding of these procedures are essential for everyone's safety.

  6. Presence of School Resource Officers or Armed Security Officers: Is there a School Resource Officer or Armed Security Officer present during all business hours, including 30 minutes before and after school? Having a visible security presence increases the sense of safety and acts as a deterrent to potential threats.

  7. Communication Abilities with Police and First Responders: What are the communication abilities between the school and the local police department and other first responders? Establishing clear communication channels facilitates swift and effective response in emergency situations.

  8. Communication with Parents during Active Threat Events: What is the communication process that is sent to parents during an active threat event? Developing a comprehensive communication plan that provides timely updates and instructions to parents is crucial for keeping them informed and reducing anxiety.

  9. First Responder Engagement: When was the last time first responders toured the school in an official fact-finding visit? Regular engagement with first responders allows them to familiarize themselves with the school's layout and helps in planning for emergency response.

  10. Access to Video Cameras and Keys: Do first responders have access to the school's video camera feed, either continuously or upon request? Additionally, do they have access to keys for all doors at the school? Providing first responders with necessary access enables them to gather real-time information and respond more effectively.

  11. Reunification Process: Please explain the reunification process and clarify where and how soon parents can pick up their child during an emergency or crisis situation. Clearly outlining this process relieves anxiety and helps parents feel informed and reassured.

  12. Active Threat Training Frequency: How often do first responders, medical response teams, and school staff practice active threat training in person? Regular and realistic training scenarios are essential for preparedness and ensuring that everyone involved can respond effectively in crisis situations.

  13. Timely Issue Resolution: What is the required timeline for addressing security-related issues, such as broken locks or malfunctioning security equipment? Promptly addressing such issues is crucial for maintaining a secure environment and demonstrating a commitment to student and staff safety.

By considering these factors when crafting an SOP, school districts can further strengthen their security protocols, establish clear guidelines for security officers, and enhance overall safety within their educational institutions.


The authorities, responsibilities, and volunteer engagement within the School Officer Program contribute to the creation of a safe and secure environment within educational institutions. By understanding the roles and functions of Level 3 and Level 4 officers, as well as the commitment of parent volunteers, we can recognize the significant impact they have on enhancing school security.

The Level 3 licensed officers bring expertise in access control, surveillance, incident response, and emergency preparedness. Their vigilance and proactive measures contribute to maintaining a safe campus environment. They collaborate closely with school administrators, faculty, and law enforcement agencies, fostering effective communication and coordination in security matters.

Level 4 officers, with their authority to carry and use firearms, provide an additional layer of security within the School Officer Program. Their specialized training in deterrence, threat assessment, and emergency response equips them to handle high-risk situations. Collaborating with school administrators, law enforcement agencies, and other security personnel, ensure a cohesive approach to school security.

The School Officer Program's reliance on parent volunteers not only enhances security measures but also fosters a sense of community ownership and involvement. Their active engagement, compliance with regulations, and commitment to continuous improvement significantly contribute to the success of the program. Through comprehensive training, collaboration, and adherence to professional standards, they play an indispensable role in maintaining a safe educational environment.

As we conclude, it is crucial to emphasize the significance of prioritizing and supporting initiatives that promote school safety. The dedication and combined efforts of security officers, parent volunteers, school administrators, and law enforcement agencies foster an environment where students, faculty, and staff can thrive without compromising their safety.

By recognizing the authorities, responsibilities, and volunteer involvement within the School Officer Program, educational institutions can implement robust security measures, strengthen community bonds, and promote a sense of confidence and well-being for all stakeholders.

Let us continue working together to ensure that our schools remain secure places for learning, growth, and the nurturing of future generations.

Frequently Asked Questions:

The School Officer Program is a community-oriented initiative aimed at enhancing school security through the involvement of parent volunteers who are trained as Level 3 and Level 4 armed officers.

Level 3 officers in the School Officer Program have the authority to provide armed security services and contribute to access control, surveillance, incident response, and emergency preparedness.

Yes, all officers in the School Officer Program, including parent volunteers, are trained as Level 3 or Level 4 armed officers, ensuring enhanced security measures.

The School Officer Program addresses school safety concerns by leveraging trained parent volunteers who actively engage in ensuring campus security, collaborating with school administrators and law enforcement agencies.

Yes, parent volunteers in the School Officer Program undergo comprehensive training to equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to fulfill their roles effectively.

Level 4 officers within the School Officer Program have additional responsibilities, including personal protection, threat assessment, emergency response, and the use of force in accordance with established guidelines.

Parent volunteers actively contribute to the School Officer Program by ensuring campus security, participating in emergency preparedness, collaborating with stakeholders, and maintaining accurate documentation.

Yes, parent volunteers who are trained as Level 4 officers within the School Officer Program have the authority to travel with students outside the school campus for enhanced security.

Collaboration between parent volunteers and law enforcement agencies fosters effective communication, coordination, and a cohesive approach to school security, ensuring a safer educational environment.

Parent volunteers in the School Officer Program undergo regular training to maintain their proficiency in security protocols, emergency response, and continuous improvement, ensuring they are equipped for evolving security challenges.