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Officers Exercise 'Verbal Judo' To Safeguard Schools In L.A.

In recent years, many students across the nation have been traumatized by bullying and incidents of gun violence. Aggressive initiatives are currently underway by the U.S. Department of Education to help ensure safer campus settings. Security guards with advanced public safety skills have become appreciated assets in an effort to keep learning environments free from danger.

(Photo Courtesy of Edmon Muradyan

These professionals take advantage of every opportunity to teach students about tolerance, acceptance and how to avoid becoming victims of crime. The more admirable ones befriend students to let young scholars know they care and, oftentimes, discover where trouble may be lurking.

"Non-students can easily enter most schools and create problems," said Edmon Muradyan, Owner of Marshall Security and Training Academy in Los Angeles. "There are increasing problems in all schools, with breakouts of rivalry fighting and students bringing in weapons and contraband on campuses."

How does an officer hinder these incidents?

"Security officers trained in public safety continuously patrol in and around the school. This deters, denies and detects many of the ongoing problems."

What distinguishes public safety guards?

"Public safety guards are required to have an additional 40 hours of training for understanding and dealing with adolescents. They engage in what's known as 'verbal judo,' which is taught to help the officer talk to the minor effectively. These officers are also trained to utilize a more relaxed use of force."

How will these officers' roles change by 2022?

"There will be new and better non-lethal technology developed to deter and diffuse any potentially harmful situation that might arise on a school campus."

What is the best way to prepare for a vocation in this field?

"Security guards that are interested in helping to keep students out of harm's way must have the proper training in public safety. They should be an efficient communicator, perfect their skills and maintain their demeanor. If possible, they might consider taking some classes in child development and/or psychology."

What is your message to striving public safety officers?

"I advise them to have patience, because they will be dealing with minors and should always listen and be compassionate."

Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to

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