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Alexandria School Board extends school resource officer coverage until June 30

Alexandria police at Alexandria City High School’s Minnie Howard Campus on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021 (staff photo by James Cullum)

The Alexandria School Board unanimously approved extending its agreement with the Alexandria Police Department to provide school resource officers at the city’s high school and middle schools until the end of this school year.

On Thursday (Nov. 10), the Board quickly approved the extension to June 30, continuing the memorandum of understanding with the department, which expired last month.

The decision now gives Interim Superintendent Melanie Kay-Wyatt time to receive the recommendations of the School Law Enforcement Partnership (SLEP) Advisory Group. The group is expected to release its report to Kay-Wyatt in mid-December, and she says that the reimagined relationship with the Alexandria Police Department, complete with a new MOU proposal, will be presented to the School Board in January.

“It’s truly just an extension,” Kay-Wyatt told the Board. “It’s truly just an extension, due to the timeline of the select data and not having those recommendations so we can continue those services.”

SROs were defunded by the City Council in last year’s budget, and Alexandria City Public Schools spent the first few months of the 2021-2022 school year without the officers. The officers were returned after ACPS pleaded to Council for their return after multiple incidents with weapons in schools.

There were 46 students arrested and 68 injured last school year, and 194 incidents that provoked a police response.

The issue even gained attention from Richmond. Last week, Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares visited with city leaders at Alexandria City High School. After the meeting, city and school leaders sent out a joint statement saying that police are an important element in school safety.

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