He says it does not need to be reinvented or removed
Frederick, MD (KB) Two bills to do away with the School Resource Officer program in Maryland schools have been proposed at the 20-21 General Assembly in Annapolis.
Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins said students and staff rely on SROs to deal with day-to-day incidents.
“On a daily basis, you have to think about the assaults on students who go after each other, you have to look at the assaults on staff, and the SROs are there in those buildings, in those schools, to stop that from escalating,” he explained.
Jenkins also said part of the role of an SRO is to build relationships with the students.
“The role of law enforcement has expanded over the years,” he said. “A part of what we do is our presence in schools, they are there as examples for young people, they do build relationships.”
Some have suggested replacing SROs with social workers. The Sheriff said social workers do not belong on the frontlines.
“There’s a role for social workers,” Jenkins said. “It’s not at the scene of a violent incident, it’s post-incident. There’s a role for them, but it’s not on the frontline, and that’s in any situation.”
Jenkins said the program works well in Frederick County as it is.
“The program doesn’t need to be reinvented, reimagined, reoriented, any of that stuff,” he said. “The program works well as it is. The deputies and officers in the schools serve a purpose, they serve a role, they’re carrying out that role very well.”
Sheriff Jenkins is urging residents to contact local State Senators and Delegates, telling them they are opposed to bills that will remove the SRO program.