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Police and ACPS noncommittal on bringing back school resource officers to Alexandria City High School

Days after both school resource officers at Alexandria City High School were put on administrative leave, the Alexandria Police Department and Alexandria City Public Schools system are still unclear as to if or when those officers will be replaced.

The officers were placed on leave last Thursday after a “serious complaint” from a former student alleging “sexually inappropriate conversations” while she attended ACHS, according to the Washington Post.

SROs have been controversial over the last year, as they were defunded by City Council earlier this year, and then brought back in October after outcry from the school system after a number of incidents with weapons in schools.

SROs are police officers with sidearms who receive 40 hours of specialized training with the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Service’s Center for School Safety. They work alongside unarmed security personnel, and are trained in deescalation, seizure and arrests on school grounds, operating during active shooting incidents and working alongside kids with emotional and behavioral issues.

Police say that the memorandum of understanding between the police and schools remains in place, but would not say if or when the officers at the high school will be replaced.

“This question could be misleading,” APD public information officer Marcel Bassett told ALXnow. “We do have other officers in the Department, but again wouldn’t get into further speculation of ‘what if’ or even mentioning replacement until we understand the resolution of the investigation.”

The school system, which would not comment on the matter, is now on winter break until Jan. 3.

“We are looking at and evaluating every possibility to keep our students safe,” Bassett said. “This does depend on the results of the investigation. In the meantime we are working closely with ACPS to ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff of all ACPS.”

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