PALMDALE — Palmdale School District will have four Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies to serve as school resource officers for the 2021-22 school year.
Palmdale trustees unanimously and without discussion ratified renewal of the contract with the sheriff’s department at a cost of about $9552,731.
No one from the public spoke for or against the proposed action.
“School Resource Officers are essential assets that assist the Palmdale School District in meeting its obligation to ensure the safety and physical security, to the greatest extent possible, of every student, his/her family members, every district employee, and all members of the public,” according to the Board agenda.
The District identifies school resource officers as first responders who help the District respond to actual and reported active shooter incidents; ensure compliance with child custody orders; and with restraining orders issued to protect individual District employees while they are at work, according to the agenda item.
They also respond promptly to threats of physical violence on or near school sites and other District premises. In addition, school resource officers assist District personnel in ensuring the safety of students and staff in the event of disasters, natural and otherwise, including but not limited to fires and windstorms.
They also assist District staff in ensuring compliance with Board policies and school-site rules and regulations; conduct active shooter trainings; conduct wellness checks; search for missing students; and provide security for school-site activities, Board and community meetings and parades.
According to the agenda item, the District’s school resource officers annually handle more than 500 assignments, incidents and reports including but not limited to school site threats and assessments, mental health assistance and evaluations, missing student incidents, home visits for welfare checks, vandalism and burglary reports; assault and battery investigations; drug investigations; weapons on campus investigations; and child abuse investigations.
“The Palmdale School District does not have any record of any incident of physical harm by an SRO to any student, family member, employee or member of the public in 26 years that district has contracted with the sheriff’s department for such services,” the agenda item said.
In addition, the District does not have any record of any complaint against any school resource deputy.
“Finally, until an alternative that ensures student, staff and public safety can be identified, produced, and developed, the Palmdale School District’s contract with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department should be renewed,” the agenda item said.