PIGEON FORGE, TN (WLAF) – Campbell County School Resource Officers (SRO) are back home this morning from a week of perhaps the best SRO training in the world. Nine CC SROs were among 2,100 attendees at the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge for the week-long in-service training. This year’s conference was the largest session in the 29-year history of the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), known as the world’s leader in school-based policing, as it combined the event with the Tennessee School Resource Officers Association (TNSRO) annual event.
TOP PHOTO: Front row – L-R: Ned Smiddy, Jr., Jonathon Bruce, Ned Smiddy, Sr., Johnny Blankenship, Allen Bumgardner and Cpl. Ty Daugherty. Back row – L-R: Brandon Gross, Sgt. Josh Vann, Cpl. Wayne Barton
Campbell County Sheriff’s Sergeant Josh Vann said, “There were SROs and administrators from everywhere; Canada, Alaska, Texas, even the country of Georgia. Every year our SROs attend the TNSRO in-service conference.”
For the Tennesseans attending, the opening ceremonies were quite thrilling as Tennessee Vols Head Football Coach Jeremy Pruitt opened the conference on June 23. Vann described the speakers as “awesome,” and they ranged from Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman to retired Columbine High School Principal Frank DeAngelis to former Knoxville Chief of Police Phil Keith.
Grossman, one of the conference’s keynote presenters, is one of the world’s leading experts in the field of human aggression and the roots of violence and violent crime. Topics for the week covered a wide variety of subjects from child sexual abuse prevention, recognition and reporting to changing the digital culture in schools to being a world class communicator yet keeping a tactical edge.
Vann adds, on a down note about the elephant in the room, there was active shooter prep and response session. Supervisory Special Agent John Skillestad with the FBI led that class.
“There’s no better training,” Vann said. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 07/01/2019-6AM-PHOTO COURTESY OF CCSO SGT JOSH VANN)