FORT COLLINS, Colo. (KDVR) — On April 27, members of the Poudre School District in northern Colorado were presented with final feedback from a Community Advisory Council about Student Resource Officers inside schools.
“I have met some of the officers and there isn’t anything they wouldn’t do to put themselves in harm’s way to help the students,” Natalie, a mother of a second grader in PSD said.
The district started CAC last year. The 15 members of the CAC include students, community members, and district staff. The Civic Canopy, a Denver-based outside facilitation firm that engages groups around complex issues, worked with the CAC for this months-long process while reviewing the SROs roles in the schools.
“I’m not sure why Denver stakeholders have anything going on with the northern Colorado community. I think this should be a parent and a board decision,” Natalie said.
PSD also sent out a survey to students, parents and teachers asking for their feedback about SROs. The results of the survey used to be public on the district’s website.
“Overwhelming from student staff and parent aspect, it showed very high support of these school resource officers,” Natalie said.
The SRO program has been in the PSD since 1995.
The Fort Collins Police Services said they’ve listened to the voices of the community but firmly believe having SROs in schools make schools safer.
“Having someone in the school, you will have a quicker response time then someone responding in the community,” John Feyen, assistant chief for FCPS said.
But the 15 members of the CAC group voted in majority opinion on April 27 that the role of law enforcement, agreed to in the final CAC report, can be implemented without SROs present in schools.
Only four members of the group felt strongly that SROs should remain embedded in schools, citing response time in the case of threats of violence and the hope that a SRO’s presence deters criminal or violent behavior.
“As a parent I’m very fearful,” Natalie said.
There has been no final decision yet, the district released this statement to FOX31 and Channel 2:
To be clear, NO decision has been made about the School Resource Officer Program in Poudre School District or the contracts that PSD has currently with the three law enforcement agencies that employ the district’s 14 SROs. The Community Advisory Council (CAC) was charged by the Board of Education to develop recommendations and share those with the board, which the CAC did at the April 27 school board meeting. These were ONLY recommendations.
The next step in the process will take place at the May 11 school board meeting, which is livestreamed for the public to watch. Information about the upcoming meeting will be posted on the board’s Meetings and Agendas web page by the end of the day on Friday, May 7.
More information, including the CAC’s final report to the Board of Education, is available on the Community Advisory Council web page.
May 11 is the next district meeting. PSD welcomes parents to come and speak at the meeting.