Survey: Support high to keep school resource officers in Prince George’s County

A proposal to remove police officers from schools in Prince George’s County, Maryland, does not seem to have support from the community, according to a survey.

Of the roughly 13,000 people who responded, 82% said that school resource officers are important or very important for maintaining a safe, positive environment in schools.

County Executive Angela Alsobrooks and the Prince George’s County Police Reform Task Force carried out the survey.

Last summer, following the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody, protests calling for police reform spread nationwide. The Prince George’s County school board voted to remove school resource officers, or SRO, but action on that decision has been delayed.

The survey also found that 92% of people who have interacted with an SRO found that experience positive; 80% supported having SROs in high schools; and 70% supported having them in middle schools.

There was almost-unanimous agreement in the survey to give SROs more training on how to de-escalate incidents.

Prince George’s County schools currently employs 211 security personnel, 66 of whom have arrest powers.

The school board could make a final decision on this issue next week.

Montgomery County is also examining the role of school resource officers.

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