With School Resource Officers Returning, CSGA and Alexandria Police Develop New Memorandum of Understanding | ALX now

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Alexandria City Public School staff and the Police Department are developing a revised Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), and although few details have been released, the school system says the School Resource Officer (SRO) program will change next year.

It has been more than a month since the city council reversed its decision and brought back the SROs. The initial decision to reimburse officers reallocated $ 800,000 in ORS funding to student mental health resources. This created a wedge between city council and school board, but after numerous violent incidents with guns in schools, school board president Meagan Alderton and Superintendent Gregory Hutchings, Jr. pleaded for their return.

The Board’s decision continues to fund SROs for the remainder of the year at Alexandria City High School, Francis C. Hammond College, and George Washington College.

“ORS are not returning to our school buildings like they were before the pandemic,” John Contreras, CSGA director of safety and security services, told the school board at last Thursday night’s meeting. .

School officials met with police on November 5 with proposed changes to the memorandum of understanding that was approved last year. The old document has “measurable goals” for SROs to report quarterly on performance and after action after incidents with students, and the focus will be on data collection in the latest version.

“The reason we got here was that one side of the argument was that we didn’t have enough data to keep ORS,” said Christopher Suarez, school board member. “The other side of the argument was that we didn’t have enough data to rule out ORS. Everyone said there was not enough data. So data is really fundamental to this.

While CSGA also plans to create an ORS task force with subcommittees made up of employees, students and community members, the next MOU will be similar to the last, Superintendent Gregory said. Hutchings, Jr. on the Board of Directors.

“A vast majority of the sections (of the MOU) remain intact,” Hutchings told the board. “Most of the reviews provide more specific details on the clearer roles for CSGA and the more clear roles for ODA when ORS are in buildings. “

In the event that city council decides in the next budget cycle to reimburse PBOs again, Hutchings said the school system should revert to a “call-for-service memorandum of understanding model.”

“We will more than likely have to go back to something like this if the ORS program is not funded after June 2022,” Hutchings said.

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