- Fort Smith School District
Commissioned School Security Officers strengthen FSPS safety initiatives
Bill Hollenbeck, Director of Safety & Facilities
Eric Huber, Safety Supervisor Brian Beaver, CSSO Cpl. Anthony Cox, SRO Cpl. Jeff Craighead, SRO
Joseph Love, CSSO Cpl. Travis Watkins, SRO Ray Whitson, CSSO Officer Tyler Lee, SRO
Fort Smith Public Schools has hired three Commissioned School Security Officers (CSSO) to further improve safety initiatives in FSPS schools. Brian Beaver, Joseph Love, and Ray Whitson have a combined 54 years in law enforcement and more than 40 years in military experience. Each has also worked in partnership with the Fort Smith Public Schools during service on the Fort Smith Police force.
Superintendent Dr. Doug Brubaker said, “As retired and former police, these licensed peace officers add experience and manpower to the now nine-person FSPS safety team. With almost 15,000 students and a workforce of almost 2,000, we believe that this division of our district team is well positioned to serve our students and school communities effectively and efficiently.”
One Vision 2023 strategic action item approved by the Board in December 2017 addressed a need for a school safety officer at each of the secondary school campuses. “We are also pleased that we were able to honor this important action item within the first year of the Vision 2023 plan and fund the CSSO positions using reallocated resources,” he said.
A CSSO, by definition, is a private security officer who has completed additional training and who has been granted the authorization by the Arkansas State Police to carry a firearm while on the property of a public school (K-12). Beaver, Love and Whitson have specialized training in S.W.A.T. and Active Shooter response. They will also participate in School Resource Officer certification and recertification programming periodically.
These CSSOs join four school resource officers who are jointly employed by the Fort Smith Police Department and FSPS. Former Sherriff Bill Hollenbeck was hired earlier this school year as the Director of Safety & Facilities, and Safety Supervisor Eric Huber continues his responsibilities with added emphasis on safety technologies.
• Brian Beaver is assigned to Belle Point and to the District’s elementary schools.
• Anthony Cox is assigned to Darby Junior High School.
• FSPD Cpl. Jeff Craighead is assigned to Northside High School.
• Joseph Love is assigned to Ramsey Junior High School.
• FSPD Cpl. Travis Watkins is assigned to Kimmons Junior High School.
• Ray Whitson is assigned to Chaffin Junior High School.
• FSPD Officer Tyler Lee is assigned to Southside High School.