The End of School Resource Officers At Worcester Public Schools
Hank Stolz asked Worcester Mayor Joe Petty on the Talk of the Commonwealth morning show to lay out the new plan to keep students safe now that School Resource Officers are being pulled out of the Worcester Public Schools.
” This is something that’s been in development for over a year. The City Manager brought it out earlier this year when he brought his recommendations about the police reform in the city of Worcester and not just the police, but in general in the city of Worcester. And this is one of the things that we heard, it was the issue that the black and the brown community, the number one issue that they wanted to see addressed. And also at the same time what’s happening too, the state did their police reform and Chief Sergeant thought that he couldn’t use the same model he’s using now and he asked us to do a different model. So both groups already came together and, myself and the manager, appointed a task force several months ago to look at this and address it. ”
” And we came up with this plan and the liaison officers from the police department who are being trained now, will be there in the morning when the students arrive and in the afternoon when they leave for safety reasons, also for traffic control. I think you need the police there definitely in the morning and the afternoons and when people are picking up and dropping off their kids. And they’re being trained, like I said right now, we’re going to work on an MOU with the school committee, the schools and the police department for the next six months. Then do a shortened version, then do a long term MOU (memorandum of understanding) at the end of six months we’ll do a review and analysis and see if we need to tweak this at all. ”
” But it’s also addressing the issues that students may have. We’ve hired eight to 12 adjustment counselors for the schools in this year’s budget and tried to address that. Also try to get some of the community organizations involved where families need help and assistance. And so looking at the long term impact that these students may be suffering, especially after COVID 19, some of the issues kids may have, especially when it comes to public health, mental illness, and you see it everywhere, not just in kids, but adults. So we’re going to try to do this holistically use the programs we have now, and this will be put in place when the kids come back after school vacation.”