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M.P.D. Officers To Serve Public Charter And Traditional Public Schools

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By Kavitha Cardoza

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier says in the next two weeks many charter schools in the district will see uniformed police officers in and around their buildings.

The decision to have what are called 'school resource officers' in public charter schools as well as traditional public schools is part of the district's updated deployment plan. Lanier says these SROs will not search backpacks or run metal detectors: for that, schools will continue to employ security guards.

Lanier says their assignment is broader. S.R.O.'s will help mediate conflicts, visit the homes of chronic truants and build relationships with students and school administrators. Lanier says the approximately 100 officers will work with almost 90 schools based on need.

"Criminal incidents in schools is so low we couldn't use just that," says Lanier. "However there are other things we need to consider: the route kids have to take to and from school, what is the age of the kids and are there other issues we can assist with."

The charter schools' participation is voluntary.

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