Francis, Richard
School Safety
Hours: 4    Start Time: 08:00    End Time: 12:00    
SUN 18MON 19TUE 20WED 21THU 22FRI 23SAT 24

No greater challenge exists today than creating safe schools or restoring schools to tranquil and safe places of learning. The challenge requires a major strategic commitment and involves placing school safety at the top of the educational agenda. This presentation will provide attendees with best practices to help secure their schools. Topics include: School safety package, school hardening, what products work, emergency operations plans / all-hazard approach, school resource officers, best practices, lessons learned from prior school shooting incidents, trends in school safety, understanding the threat, and threat assessments.

No one wants to see or hear about any school-related tragic event. School administrators and law enforcement would prefer to prevent all school-related crimes and ensure a safe learning environment each day. On each school day, we are responsible for the most vulnerable people in our schools. The reality is there are so many things outside the control of the school administrators and our school resource officers that such a task is virtually impossible. To attempt to predict the disruptive behavior of a student, a staff member, an intruder or a terrorist is unrealistic. However, individuals responsible for K-12 schools can take actions to prepare for a crisis, avoid a crisis, preclude successive crises, and now, equally important, to lead the healing process following a crisis.

Education is a federal concern, a state concern, and a local responsibility. Assigning such responsibility to parents, students, educators, law enforcement and other citizens closest to the need for schooling is both appropriate and demanding. A safe school is foundational to the success of the academic mission. What is a safe school? A safe school is a place where students can learn, and teachers can teach in a welcoming environment, free of intimidation and fear. It is a setting where the educational climate fosters a spirit of acceptance and care for all student, where behavior expectations are clearly communicated, consistently enforced, and fairly applied. A safe school is also one that is prepared to respond to the unthinkable crisis.

Richard Francis - Bio
Captain Rick Francis started with the Seminole County Sheriff's Office in 2007. He oversees the School Safety Division as the School Safety Director. He is responsible for 66 schools, approximately 68,000 students and 8,000 staff members. He has provided subject matter expertise on school safety and security matters. Captain Francis served in the US Navy as a combat medic for four years, then served in the Army Reserve for two years as a flight medic. He began his law enforcement career with Florida Fish and Wildlife as a marine patrol officer in 2003 before joining the Sheriff's Office. Throughout his time at the Sheriff's Office he has been assigned to patrol, major crimes investigations, was promoted to patrol sergeant, assigned to domestic security, promoted to lieutenant where he served as a watch commander, then headed up our School Safety Division. Captain Francis has also been a member of SWAT since 2002, Honor Guard from 2009-2016 and the High-Risk Incident Commander since 2016. He has served as an adjunct professor in Criminal Justice and Homeland Security at Seminole State College since 2012 and Mercy College since 2016. Captain Francis attended the Southern Police Institute Command Officer Development Course in 2014 and sits on the following boards: Crimeline, School Health Advisory Board, Youth Commission, Positive Behavior Pathways Committee, Opioid Task Force and the Domestic Security Task Force. Captain Francis earned a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice (with Honors) from Andrew Jackson University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice and Administration (with Honors) from Columbia College. He is a member of the Delta Epsilon Tau Honor Society.