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Columbia police officers union addresses removal of school resource officers at CPS schools

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

The Columbia Police Officers Association says it's opposed to removing school resource officers from Columbia Public Schools a week after the agreement ended.

Dale Roberts, executive director of CPOA, said in a statement Tuesday morning resource officers are needed for building community relationships.

"School resource officers develop long-standing relationships through the years and help build trust between students and the police," Roberts said in the news release.

Roberts said the resource officer removal "unecessarily decreases safety" inside the school buildings.

Last week, the City of Columbia officially ended the partnership between the police department and Columbia Public Schools. Previously, the school district paid 55% of the SRO salary, with the rest coming from the city.

The city said in a news release on June 25 moving the SROs to CPD's Community Outreach Unit would 'better serve the city.'

The city said it will add three positions to the unit bringing it to six officers.

The move was part of a cost-saving measure, according to the release. City leaders said at last 78 positions needed to be cut, which correlates to a $3.8 million reduction in spending.

As of Tuesday, the school district hasn't made any decisions on safety and security inside schools.

"There will be much to discuss as we consider what our options might be for next year and how to address the loss of SROs in our schools," CPS spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark said in an email.

Columbia City Government / Columbia Public Schools / News / Top Stories

Matt Ragsdale

Matt Ragsdale is a broadcast and digital producer at ABC 17 News.

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