In response to criticism of police brutality nationwide, many districts are reevaluating the role of school resource officers. SROs were a hot topic during a recent Bethel school board work session.
During the last work session for the school year, board members discussed restructuring the duties of SROs.
Superintendent Chris Parra said she has been talking to the district’s SROs about not wearing a uniform, as well as other possible changes.
“Part of it had to do with the work of the SRO,” said Parra. “Some of it had to do with the location of the SRO. For example, not having the SRO actually in a school. What would it mean to have the SRO located, for example, at the district office and responding to different things than is currently in our reality right now.”
According to Parra, Bethel pays 50% of the SROs salary, which is $96,000. The district also pays 10% of the SRO sergeant’s salary, which is roughly $19,000.
Additionally, they have also paid for roughly 140 hours of training over the last year and a half, some of which was focused on interacting with children. The school district also pays for routine maintenance on the police vehicle.
The board hopes to start having community discussions about SROs in September.