In mid-June, the PGCPS Board of Education voted to postpone action on School Resource Officers (SROs) in schools. Those discussions will resume this week in the Operations, Budget & Fiscal Affairs (OBFA) Committee on Monday, September 14 at 6 PM and the full Board Meeting on Thursday, September 17 at 7 PM.
We encourage everyone to contact your Board of Education members to share your thoughts. Board member contact information, as well as links to meeting documents and live meeting webinars, are available at https://www.pgcps.org/board/.
The PGCABS Board has not endorsed a position on this matter, but provides these notes and links for clarification:
- Under Maryland law, a school resource officer is defined as “a law enforcement officer who has been assigned to a school in accordance with a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the chief of a law enforcement agency and the local school system.”
- Maryland’s Safe to Learn Act from 2018 required that “all public high schools have either an SRO assigned to them or adequate law enforcement coverage by the 2018-19 school year.” As of the bill’s passage, PGCPS had thirty SROs. Additional details are available in the bill’s Fiscal Policy Note.
- The Maryland Center for School Safety operates a 5-day training program for SROs that includes topics of “De-escalation, Disability Awareness, Maintaining a Positive School Climate, Constructive Interactions with Students, Implicit Bias, and Disability and Diversity Awareness with specific attention to Racial and Ethnic Disparities.”
- PGCPS currently has Memorandums of Agreement* with the Prince George’s County Police Department and police departments in the cities of Bowie, Greenbelt, and Hyattsville. SROs are paid by the county through the law enforcement agencies.
- PGCPS operates Safety and Security Services within the Supporting Services Division and employs school security officers who are not SROs.
- School Resource Officers are currently assigned to all PGCPS high schools and some middle schools.