Rochester Public Schools discusses alternatives to SROs
(ABC 6 News) – Rochester school board members received more information Tuesday evening as the district considers its options when it comes to school resource officers.
The superintendent believes the current setup is working well, but board members haven’t been convinced.
The board was not ready to vote on this issue yet.
They still have a couple of months to decide before the current contract is up with Rochester police.
“That was a charge I took very seriously,” Superintendent Dr. Kent Pekel said.
Superintendent Dr. Kent Pekel presented some alternatives to the current way of operating.
He pointed out right away, his data shows the majority of RPS students are in favor of having SROs in schools the way they are now.
He also had some experts on the issue provide insight including the effect removing SROs could have and how much it could cost.
“The budget in Minneapolis triple, maybe quadruple for what we had to do. Because people have gotten so used to leaning on the SROs,” Jason Matlock said.
Potential alternatives include having in-house employees trained to handle student safety but there are doubts on how effective that will be for students.
One concern previously voiced by board members regarding the current plan is some students of color don’t feel comfortable with police officers in schools.
The board has until June 30th to make a final decision.
There’s no clear indication which way they’re leaning but we do know the superintendent is happy with how things are right now.