Vote of confidence for police officers in Minneapolis public schools

December 18, 2018 10:32 PM

An 83-page survey and report released by the Minneapolis School District shows school resource officers are viewed favorably by a majority of students, teachers, principals and parents.

More than 5,000 students were asked to take the survey and slightly more than half had a positive view of SROs, or they had no opinion of them either way.


At Tuesday night's Minneapolis School Board meeting, several high school principals voiced support for SROs but also said they were not viewed as a "first line of defense" either.

"They do provide a level of safety as one component to school safety," South High School Principal Ray Aponte said. "In reality, my students have little interaction with SROs because in my school it is 'get to class.'"

FAIR High School Principal Mary Pat Cumming said her school is smaller than most and having the SROs means something different to them, but they are considered a valuable asset.

"They are trained differently and bring a different set of skills to the schools," Cumming said. "They have unique training to deal with critical situations and crisis situations than say if you called in a street cop, for example."

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Southwest High School Principal Michael Favor told school board members the SROs in his building spend a lot of time with community policing skills which is important when reaching out to teenagers and he said it is also very beneficial to the officers.

"My hope is that this is something that grows organically through the Minneapolis Police Department," Favor said. "I think it will help Minneapolis hear and see what's happening in our community."

The school district cut SROs from 16 to 14 last year and they visit middle and high schools throughout the day on a rotating basis.

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Jay Kolls

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