Debate continues over resource officers in Chicago Public Schools

A debate continues over whether resource officers should remain at Chicago Public Schools (CPS).

The Austin community is urging the mayor and the school board to uphold CPS and local school councils' authority to determine the presence or absence of SROs in their schools. 

They emphasize that local school councils collaborate closely with CPS to assess factors contributing to school safety.

"We strongly request that they have the right, that autonomy, and the power to make the decision if they want resource officers in their school. It is vital, it is important, and we are concerned with the absence of them, drastic things will happen in our community," one resident said.

A Chicago group, United Working Families, is urging CPS CEO Pedro Martinez to create a policy to end the district's contract with the Chicago Police Department. It said the money should be reinvested into "holistic school safety."

The effectiveness of having school resource officers within CPS schools has long been a subject of debate regarding its impact on safety.

If the school board resolution passes on Thursday, the district has until June 27 to present a comprehensive school safety policy, removing 54 officers.