DENVER (KRDO) -- Denver police officers will no longer be used as school resource officers in Denver public schools, according to our news partners at 9News. This comes after a unanimous vote by the Denver Public Schools Board of Education to end its contract with the Denver Police Department.
DPD officers will be phased out through June 21, after which the district will rely on its own security teams.
Superintendent Susanna Cordova released a statement after the vote, saying the death of George Floyd was major factor in the decision.
“George Floyd’s death, and every tragic death of Black people at the hands of law enforcement, have brought to light how we as a district can respond and do more for our students of color," Cordova said in the statement obtained by 9News. "Ever since the issue of removing school resource officers was first raised, I emphasized how critical it is to hear from many different voices in the community. We heard from several stakeholders tonight, with pros and cons on both sides. It's important to think about the full context here: strong safety resources on our campuses; trusting relationships with the adults in our schools; and the urgent and absolute need to end the school-to-prison pipeline.
"I believe the board has voted on this resolution with the best interest of students at heart.There is absolutely nothing more important than all of our students feeling safe, cared for, and protected in our schools. An education does not happen without that. Our students need to trust the adults who are on our campuses with them. I appreciate the board’s forcefulness and tenacity in bringing this issue forward.”
9News reports that board member Tay Anderson said school resource officers unfairly target students of color, making them wary of law enforcement at a young age.
Currently there are 17 school resource officers working under the contract with Denver Public Schools. DPS pays the police department $721,403 each year for school resource officers, according to 9News.
Per the resolution obtained by 9News, these funds would be instead be used for increasing the number of social workers, restorative justice practitioners and mental health professionals in the district.