CHICAGO (CBS) — It was a school resource officer potentially saved the lives of hundreds of students in a Dixon school shooting earlier this year.
In Chicago, many schools have school resource officers who can intervene if there’s trouble. But there are new questions about their training.
CBS 2’s Lauren Victory has the story.
The deputy inspector general for public safety is concerned about what he calls “a disconnect” between Chicago police and Chicago schools.
“What we found out very quickly was that there was really no structure in place” said Deputy Inspector General Joseph Lipari.
220 school resource officers, also called SROs, are in 75 of Chicago’s public schools to keep kids safe. But Chicago’s deputy inspector general for public safety Joseph Lipari said he was surprised to find that neither CPS nor Chicago Police have an official agreement that lays out what exactly the officers can and cannot do.
There are also no hiring guidelines or no specialized training for SROs. They are hand-picked by police district leaders.
The officers who walk the school hallways know police policies and CPS rules, but need to learn more about dealing with kids.
“Such as crisis intervention training specifically for youth, deescalation training,” said Lipari.
CPS tells CBS 2 it supports many of the changes suggested in the report and it cut the number of schools police resource officers over the past five years.
A group gathered on Thursday for a news conference in front of CPS headquarters and said they think school resource officers should be removed from schools altogether. They allege widespread school resource officer misconduct. A future IG report could look into that.