DPS board votes to remove student resource officers, cut ties with Denver Police Department

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DENVER (KDVR) — The Denver Public Schools Board of Education voted Thursday night to remove student resource officers from campuses, thus ending the district’s contract with the Denver Police Department.

The resolution was approved unanimously.

It calls on the board and superintendent to reduce the number of school resource officers in district schools by 25 percent by the end of 2020 and to terminate DPS’ contract with DPD for services of school resource officers by the end of next school year.

The resolution also asks that funding for school resource officers be redirected to things like mental health services, psychologists and restorative justice practitioners. 

The decision comes after protests demanding changes to the policing system following the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

DPS Superintendent Susana Cordova issued the following statement after the vote:

“George Floyd’s death, and every tragic death of Black people at the hands of law enforcement, have brought to light how we as a district can respond and do more for our students of color. Ever since the issue of removing school resource officers was first raised, I emphasized how critical it is to hear from many different voices in the community. We heard from several stakeholders tonight, with pros and cons on both sides. It’s important to think about the full context here: strong safety resources on our campuses; trusting relationships with the adults in our schools; and the urgent and absolute need to end the school-to-prison pipeline. I believe the board has voted on this resolution with the best interest of students at heart.

There is absolutely nothing more important than all of our students feeling safe, cared for, and protected in our schools. An education does not happen without that. Our students need to trust the adults who are on our campuses with them. I appreciate the board’s forcefulness and tenacity in bringing this issue forward.”

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