NewsMissoula County


Frenchtown High School SRO discusses safety issues

Scott Rasmussen
SRO emergency response plan
Posted at 3:08 PM, Aug 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-29 17:13:19-04

FRENCHTOWN - MTN News decided to check out an important piece of the safety puzzle with so many Western Montana kids returning to school this week.

School Resource Officers (SROs) are trained law enforcement personnel who work with the schools to identify and fix threats.

Frenchtown High School SRO Scott Rasmussen was awarded SRO of the Year during the first annual School Safety Recognition Awards at the Jeremy Bullock Safe Schools Summit in Butte.

Missoula County Sheriff's Office Deputy Scott Rasmussen who recently named SRO of the Year.

But as you can expect, that’s not what he wanted to talk about; he wanted to talk about keeping the campus safe.

“I take it up on myself to make sure I’m always a visible presence, walking around, checking doors,” said Rasmussen who is a Missoula County Sheriff’s Office deputy. “And when I come up on something, to question it and bring it to proper channels and be able to address that change it.”

We met with Rasmussen and Deputy Tyler Terrill — who is an SRO at several schools in the area — as they gear up for another year. A threat to a school can be anything from weather to an intruder -- and that’s where the Standard Response Protocol comes in.

SRO emergency response plan
The Standard Response Protocol is an all-hazards emergency response.

“The Standard Response Protocol is an all-hazards emergency response. It strips it back to about five actions,” Rasmussen explained.

But it goes well beyond that, to a mapping system. One example is it clearly lays out the campus for a quicker response.

“The school has bought off on that and thinks it is a fantastic strategy to then increase the response time and...having some sort of known information when going into the unknown,” Rasmussen said.

Scott Rasmussen
Frenchtown High School School Resource Officer Scott Rasmussen

Not all schools have that yet and Target Range could be next. Terrill recently helped Woodman School in Lolo identify safety shortfalls, something he’d like to see on other campuses as well.

And in light of recent school violence in other parts of the country where the response from law enforcement has been criticized, we asked if they are ready for the worst.

“We take an oath that week took to uphold and protect our citizens is paramount the priority is to go immediately to the threat and stop the threat," Rasmussen concluded.