BCCS to end School Resource Officer contract with BCPD
Thursday, April 15, 2021 –
On Monday, April 12, the BCCS School Board took action to start the process of terminating the School Resource Officer (SRO) contract with the Brooklyn Center Police Department (BCPD). Per the contract, BCCS must provide a 60-day notice of separation. As such, Superintendent Dr. Carly Baker submitted the notification to BCPD earlier today, April 15, making the official termination date June 15, 2021. However, SRO services will cease immediately.
Last summer, after the killing of George Floyd, the district and the BCCS School Board entered discussions with BCPD about the role of the SRO with students and families in BCCS. As a result, the recrafted SRO position was redesigned to spend less time policing children and families and instead prioritize positive interactions with the school community. The shift in duties for the SRO position was to have initiated with the 2020-2021 school year, but due to COVID-19 and distance learning, it was not implemented.
Given the recent killing of Daunte Wright, the board instructed Dr. Baker to take further action to cancel the SRO contract with BCPD.
“We are making the decision to terminate the SRO contract not only in light of the recent events of police violence against people of color in the Minneapolis community with the killing of George Floyd, and most recently the killing of Daunte Wright at the hands of a BCPD officer,” said Dr. Baker and the School Board in their letter to BCPD. “Our decision is also grounded in a deep need to respond to the pain of our community and to acknowledge the trauma of our black and brown families around community policing. We are actively choosing to declare to our families and the young people of our schools that our children do not need to be policed while they learn. They are safe with us and we are safe with them. Centaur Nation is a family. The concerns of our children and their families being re-traumatized by the presence of law enforcement in our schools at arrival and dismissal, drop-off and pick-up, or lunch times for our young people is far outweighed by the traditional call for the safety that the presence of law enforcement is said to bring to schools.”
Dr. Baker and board members also noted that as a community school district, they welcome opportunities to engage in different partnerships in the future, partnerships that focus on building community rather than policing children.