News - DeKalb County

After months of debate, DeKalb city nears new contract with district for school resource officers

City leaders will consider whether to approve a proposal for two school resource officers with the option for a third.

DeKALB – DeKalb School District 428 is asking city leaders to consider authorizing an intergovernmental agreement to help bring on board two school resource officers with the option for a third, if needed, for the 2022-23 school year.

The proposal is up for DeKalb City Council vote Monday, as the issue of gun safety raises concerns both across the region and the nation in the wake of last month’s school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 children and two adults.

The request is recommended for City Council approval, city staff wrote in documents released ahead of Monday’s meeting, set for 6 p.m. at the DeKalb Public Library.

District 428 currently has one SRO at DeKalb High School, one SRO split between its two middle schools and a third SRO split between its eight elementary schools.

School officials have said the proposal is under consideration because of the number of behavior-related calls the SROs had responded to during the 2021-22 school year.

Moving forward ordinance violations issued by SROs could prompt students to participate in a community service program operated by the district. But if the incident involves a security or potential criminal issue, the SRO may take criminal law enforcement actions in cooperation with district officials, according to city documents.

At a recent District 428 school board meeting, some people have raised concerns about the need for additional SROs. To that end, the school district is in the process of undergoing a safety audit and will be implementing updated multi-tiered behavioral interventions and security measures for the 2022-23 school year, according to city documents.

The proposal, if approved, would come with a $430,000 price tag with costs shared between the city and the school district. District 428 will reimburse the city in an amount equal to 75% of the total cost of each SRO including base salary, benefits and overtime pay directly arising from the SRO’s work in the district, according to city documents.

The pact, if approved, begins in the fall and is effective for three years.