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HomeNewsLocal NewsArizona Dept. of Ed suggests retired police officers to fill SRO shortage.

Arizona Dept. of Ed suggests retired police officers to fill SRO shortage.

Earlier this year Tom Horne, the state superintendent of public instruction, announced the ADE’s School Safety Program provided funding to 301 schools to hire full time SROs. But months into the school year, 138 positions are still vacant, according to the department.  

The school safety task force consists of educators, legislators, mental health professionals and law enforcement held their final meeting Thursday to offer recommendations to improve school safety, some including making changes to state laws. 

Horne says current laws should be modified to allow retired law enforcement to serve as school resource officers, as departments deal with officer shortages nationwide. One proposed change to state law would allow retired law enforcement officers to works as school resources officers.

138 schools have been granted funds for an SRO but are unable to find suitable candidates, according to the task force. Link and list below.

“Statutes governing retirement and reemployment have been identified as barriers to allowing retirees to reengage their service as SROs,” the task force said.

“When they retire, they lose certification and legislation says you need to be certified so we need to change that,” Horne said. “We need to have some kind of licensing situation where right now if people retire, they are no longer certified, but they can get re-certified for the purpose of being a school resource officer. Right now, they can’t do that and that’s irrational. That should be an easy yes from any reasonable legislator, I would think.”

Changing the proposed legislation could start in January.

Horne says they would then look into the training needed for those retired officers to work in a school environment to bring them up to speed.

List of School Safety Program Award List.

  • Blue Ridge Unified School District No. 32 Blue Ridge Elementary School New SC/SW $72,600.00
  • Edkey, Inc. – Sequoia Choice Schools Sequoia Choice School Arizona Distance Learning School Current SC/SW $84,227.52
  • Holbrook Unified District Holbrook High School Current SRO $88,714.00
  • Sanders Unified District Valley High School Current SC/SW $85,760.00
  • Show Low Unified District Show Low High School Current SRO $125,375.33
  • Snowflake Unified District Snowflake High School Current SC/SW $79,542.00
  • St Johns Unified District St Johns Middle School Current SRO $195,606.15

Click on the document for more schools.

https://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/23821013/boardofed.pdf

Molly K Ottman Executive Editor/Journalist – JT Morgan Journalist for Mountain Daily Star

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