The Alexandria City School Board next month will hold a bi-annual review on its memorandum of understanding with the Alexandria Police Department.
“We’re looking at our collaboration with the Alexandria Police Department,” ACPS Executive Director of Communications Helen Lloyd told ALXnow. “We’re making sure that it’s a public review process.”
School resource officers were reassigned to the APD patrol division when the pandemic shut down the school system in mid-March for the remainder of the school year. The MOU would continue the agreement to provide officers at T.C. Williams High School and other ACPS schools when buildings eventually reopen.
“As a general practice, unless there is a clear and imminent threat to safety, requests from school staff for SRO or other law enforcement assistance are to be channeled through a school administrator,” according to the 2018 MOU. “SROs are responsible to lead the investigation and questioning of students related to suspected violations of criminal law.”
In 2018, a SRO was put on administrative leave after discharging his firearm inside his office at George Washington Middle School. The officer was later reassigned by Police Chief Michael Brown. The officer is no longer an SRO.
The MOU continues, “Whenever practical, arrests of a student or staff member should be accomplished outside of school hours in order to not disrupt the educational process or school setting.”
Sometimes that isn’t possible. In February, a T.C. Williams High School student was arrested during school hours and charged with murdering two people.
The public hearing on the MOU will be held virtually at 4 p.m. on October 1, and the updated document must be signed by Brown and the superintendent by November 2, 2020.