Extension of School Resource Officer program will give CSPA time to plan for future, says superintendent | ALXnow

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Alexandria Police Cruiser (staff photo by James Cullum)

Superintendent Gregory Hutchings, Jr. wants another year of funding for the school resource officer program — a time he says will allow Alexandria City Public Schools to chart its future without rushing.

Hutchings says the extension will allow for the formation of a School Law Enforcement Advisory Group next month, which will closely study the SRO program and develop a proposal for a new biannual memorandum of understanding with the police department. Alexandria in December. .

“What we are asking the council is to investigate this request with the council to extend the funding deadline for our SRO so that we can have enough time to really work with the advisory group and make a recommendation to the advice that is not in a rushed format,” Hutchings told the board Thursday night.

In the meantime, the $800,000 program will continue as is, with specially trained police officers stationed at both Alexandria colleges and the Minnie Howard campus of Alexandria City High School. There has been no ORS on the King Street campus of Alexandria City High School since the two officers were furloughed after a “serious complaint” from a former student alleging “sexually inappropriate conversationswhile attending ACHS. The decision to return ORS to ACSS rests with the Alexandria Police, who rotated detail officers in and out of the school daily.

Some are unhappy with the extension, including Sindy Carballo Garcia, a youth organizer for Tenants And Workers United.

“It is still unacceptable that the data continues to show the same results, that of all arrested students, it is primarily black students who are arrested in disproportionate percentages,” Garcia told the Council during the public comment portion of the meeting. . “It is unacceptable that we do not prioritize programs such as mental health and restorative practices, and that we do not invest fully in them to implement them correctly in order to meet the needs of students by genuinely supporting the students and having educated and trusted adults who understand and serve young people. »

The advisory group will be formed and presented to the school board at its April 21 meeting.

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