DENVER (KDVR) — The Black Family Advisory Council in Denver Public Schools invited the superintendent and police chief to their meeting Tuesday night, asking questions about the district’s use of school resource officers.

The council wants to make sure students of color, especially Black students, are not mistreated by SROs who are currently in schools. The group also wants to have a say in what a safety plan looks like in the future.

I recognize the fact that, in the past, there has been some disparate impact that we have seen,” Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas said. “I think we have learned from that now and we have identified alternatives to citations, alternatives to handling discipline matters within the criminal justice system.”

When school resource officers were put back in Denver Public Schools after the recent shooting at East High, the Black Family Advisory Council knew it would be asking a lot of questions.

“We want to create a plan and some policies and procedures so that our kids are safe while these SROs are in our schools,” council chair Tiffany Grays said.

The council says it’s ready to collaborate to make sure students are safe and protected from officers who might mistreat them.

What’s the future for SROs in Denver schools?

In a presentation at Tuesday’s meeting, Superintendent Dr. Alex Marrero addressed SROs and their future in the district beyond this school year. 

“They’re here until June 30th in selected sites based on the feedback and the requests from said schools, but beyond that, not necessarily,” Marrero told FOX31. “We’ll do another, I guess, re-engagement to see if they want to continue, but that’s just one piece of a layered approach.”

Marrero talked about more training for officers in school as a potential part of the layered approach. 

“We’re exploring the gamut, and I don’t want to be controversial, but there has been requests for gun detection technology,” Marrero said. “There has been some requests for metal detectors. This is not me saying that this is what will happen, but I am given the authority and given the grace now to engage in that conversation.”

Marrero shared plans to meet with advisory committees before creating a safety plan to present to the school board in June.