SRO Program - Public Engagement
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School Resource Officer Program - Public Engagement

School Resource Officer Program - Public Engagement

Providing safe and welcoming schools is a top priority for Minneapolis Public Schools.

In the interest of cultivating more welcoming and safe school environments, in the spring and summer of 2017, MPS gathered feedback on the future of its School Resource Officer (SRO) program (police officers who work in schools) to inform a Board of Education vote on its annual contract with the Minneapolis Police Department.

On August 8, 2017, the Board of Education voted 8 to 1 in favor of the Superintendents recommendation to reduce the number of school resource officers while enhancing centralized supports to schools. (See the initial presentation to the Board which includes results from the surveys and engagement sessions.)

Specifically, the recommendation reduces the number of SROs from 16 to 14—a reduction of two roaming officers— along with making substantial changes to the three-year contract (with an annual review) with the Minneapolis Police Department.

Contract enhancements include better-defined training for SROs on topics such as child development, cultural competency and restorative justice; the use of “soft uniforms” rather than traditional police uniforms; and SROs’ participation on the district-wide Climate & Safety Advisory Committee. Savings from the SRO reduction will be used to pay for additional training and other school supports.

Increased supports will include heightened efforts to implement positive school-wide engagement strategies in schools, such as social emotional learning and restorative practices.

BACKGROUND ON SRO ENGAGEMENT

Input from students, families, staff and community members informed the district's recommendation to the Board of Education as noted above. This work is a continuation of the engagement that was conducted in 2016 and 2017 through a series of focus groups and surveys with staff and students across the district, including communities of color. See the presentation from the engagement sessions.