Saturday, November 26, 2011
School resource police officers axed in the Syracuse district
So, Syracuse school Superintendent Sharon Contreras didn't hesitate when she told the school board at a Wednesday night meeting back in September they had the resources to keep the schools safe and wanted to ax six middle school School Resource Officers from a fleet of 15 inside the buildings.
Contreras argued the nine School Resources Officers assigned to the high schools can respond to the middle schools as well, while the district already had 31 in-house uniformed security guards plus hall monitors. And no other school district outside of New York City had police resource officers exclusively in the middle schools.
So the six officers were reassigned to community policing positions, continuing to respond to the middle schools as part of their duties.
Buffalo City School District had only four police School Resource Officers in the schools until last May when Mayor Byron W. Brown and former Superintendent of Schools James A. Williams increased the fleet to 16 including a Chief of Police and a Lieutenant with two off-duty officers assigned to Bennett HS (daily), two off-duty officers assigned to East HS (daily) according to WIVB-TV and the Buffalo News coverage of the expansion.
Also, the Buffalo Schools Police School Resource Officers worked in a successful partnership with the Attendance Officers in the AIM Team (Attendance Intervention Mobile) until both were cut in 2005 and 2002.
One of the powers and duties of Attendance Officers under school law 3213 is the arrest of truant students. And in January the district recalled three Attendance Officers laid off in 2005, and eight additional ones in September, increasing the number of Attendance Officers to 13 in the Buffalo Schools.