Two bills in he 2021 General Assembly would remove SRO’s from schools.
Frederick, Md (KM) Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins is urging residents to contact their l State Senators and Delegates, telling them they are opposed to bills to do away with the School Resource Officer program. Two bills, House Bill 496, and Senate Bill 245, have been proposed in the 2021 Maryland General Assembly.
He says this “should be a topic of concern to all of us.”
In a statement, the Sheriff says this program was developed nationwide following the massacre Columbine High in Littleton, Colorado in 1999. It came to Frederick County a few years later. “For more than two decades, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office has worked and succeeded in building an effective model SRO program in our Frederick County Public Schools.”
In 2018, the Maryland General Assembly passed the Safe to Learn Act which requires an SRO or “adequate coverage” determined by school district based on Maryland Center for School Safety Guidelines in every K-12 public school in the state. “I believe, as many do, that we have established adequate coverage of our local school system,” the Sheriff continues in his statement. “Local families, parents, school administrators, and students have readily accepted the need for the program and have come to expect our presence in the schools.”
Jenkins said the SRO’s handle incidents such as fights between students, assaults, threats of violence and gang activities. The Sheriff says his deputies in the SRO program meet consistent training standards set by the State of Maryland. Currently, he says the SRO program is under attack locally for “unwarranted political purposes,” and dismantling the program would make schools less safe.
The Sheriff’s Office provides deputies in every high school in the county with the exception of Brunswick High, which is staffed by a Brunswick Police Officer. In addition to the high schools, deputies are also responsible for the feeder schools. In the city of Frederick, the Police Department covers elementary and middle schools, and the Thurmont Police Department covers elementary and middle schools within the town’s corporate limits.
By Kevin McManus