SLCSD, Police, and Mayor Sign New Agreement
This week, we were proud to join with Salt Lake City Police, Mayor Jackie Biskupski, and Rep. Sandra Hollins in signing a new contract to improve our relationship with the police and to improve the interactions between students and officers in our schools.
The contract is the result of nearly a year of conversation about improved training, cooperation and compliance with The School Resource Officers and School Administrators legislation, which was sponsored by Rep. Sandra Hollins, D-Salt Lake and became law in 2016. The law sets standards for best-practices and training to clarify the respective roles of police and schools fin their interactions with students when disciplinary actions or intervention is needed.
Salt Lake Police Sgt. Phil Eslinger, who oversees 11 school resource officers and one civilian employee who work in Salt Lake schools, said the police department is dedicated to improving relationships with students, faculties and school communities. He said his officers have been working to make their interactions with students more positive. "Now when we show up in a school, the students aren't asking us 'Who's in trouble or who's being arrested?' They're now asking us if we'll be there for recess, if we're there for lunch, that we're going to have that positive contact with them."
The contract will enable officers to be available to the school district and to serve students through summer. It also calls for equal placement of school resource officers at all middle and high schools. The contract calls for creation of an oversight committee that will publish a yearly report that includes a review of school-based diversions, arrests and interventions. It also creates a mechanism for community members to raise concerns and a means to review them.