WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Arkansas School Safety Commission has submitted its final recommendations on how to keep schools safe.

Since 2018, schools across the state have expanded the armed presence for safety, training in youth mental health and creating a positive atmosphere at schools. Now, the committee is recommending an increase in response training by using methods in the nationwide “ALERRT” program.

“We not only want our law enforcement responding based on their training, but we also want the CSSOs (Commissioned School Security Officers) to respond the same, we want our teachers, our coaches and our students to understand what’s going to be taking place when we respond,” said Washington County Sheriff Tim Helder, who is part of the School Safety Commission.

The ALERRT program is nationally recognized as the preeminent active shooter and attack response training provider in the nation. ALERRT was recognized as the national standard in active shooter response training by the FBI in 2013. ALERRT’s excellence in training was recognized in 2016 with a Congressional Achievement Award, according to a report.