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1. Frequently Asked Questions

  • Our school division does not have an SSO program, but we are interested in starting one. Where can I get more information?

Please contact for information related to starting an SSO program!  

  • I work for a private or religious school; can we have an SSO program?

Yes! Virginia Code includes private and religious schools in the SSO program. However, private schools are not required to certify their SSOs, unless they are armed.  

  • I am certified through DCJS as a private security officer. Do I still need to take the SSO Initial Certification class?

Yes. Private security and school security are regulated under different codes and regulations, therefore there is no overlap. A private security certification license cannot be used to waive the SSO certification and training requirements.  

  • I am not employed with a school division but would like to take the Initial Certification class. Is that allowed?

The SSO Initial Certification class is only open to currently employed school division employees, or private security employees with a current contract to provide services to the school division. 

  • I am currently serving as a law enforcement officer (part time or full time), can I be an SSO?

No, a school security officer is a school board employee operating under civil law. A currently sworn law enforcement officer is an employee of a law enforcement agency operating under criminal law; therefore, there would be a conflict of interest.  

  • Can we contract with a private security company to fill vacant SSO positions within our school/school division?

A local school board or private or religious school may contract with a private security company to fill vacant positions; however, the school division Point of Contact (POC) must be a school division employee and not a member of the private security Company. The POC is responsible for submitting all required documentation to the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) on behalf of the private security company employee.