COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The Columbia Board of Education unanimously approved the district's contract with the Columbia Police Department for school resource officers on Monday night.
During the meeting, Board members heard from parents, teachers and students about the agreement, and a presentation over SROs and other safety measures was presented.
The presentation outlined a number of safety updates, including three that revolve around teaching students safety measures. These include driver's education, safe storage public information announcement and a Columbia fire educator.
Four officers will be contracted for hire. Two officers will be at Battle High School, while one will be at Rock Bridge High School and one will be placed at Hickman High School.
The City will hire officers, though Columbia Public Schools would be involved in the interview and school placement process.
In this agreement, CPS will be paying 75% for the four officers, which will not exceed $317,000.
"As we look at the SRO's they are building what you call relationships with out scholars so they know if there is a bullying incident or something that is going on that is really troubling this is another avenue that they can reach out to and speak with and not be afraid," said Superintendent Yearwood.
According to Columbia Public Schools, the primary responsibilities of a school resource officer are:
- Maintaining the overall safety of the building;
- Provide mentoring and support for students and staff;
- Deescalate situations
The most recent SRO agreement began in January 2022 and ended June 30.
Yearwood said the agreement still needs to be approved by CPD and Columbia's City Council. SROs will not be in school until Fall, according to Yearwood.
The officers' hours would be from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.