The Milwaukee Board of School Directors has approved a plan to expand the School Resource Officers program, effective immediately. Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent William Andrekopoulos says the positive effect that Resource Officers had at the pilot schools, Custer and Bradley Tech, was instrumental in expanding the plan to five schools total. MPS claims in the three months prior to the launch of the SRO program in 2006-07, Bradley Tech averaged 51 suspensions per month related to physical and personal safety. In the first three months of the program, the school saw a 31% reduction in these types of suspensions.
Andrekopoulos says SRO's are specially trained in dealing with disorderly conduct prevention and in counseling students. A squad of two officers is assigned to each specified high school.
Who would pay for expanding the School Resource Officers Program has been the subject of debate in the city. The Milwaukee Police Department and MPS have agreed will each provide $375,000. This will cover the cost of the program through the first semester of 2008-09. Andrekopoulos says the funding issue, after that is still undetermined.