Sandburg Middle School in Golden Valley could get school resource officer | #schoolsaftey

A school resource officer hasn’t been in Sandburg Middle School in Golden Valley for two years but following a string of safety concerns at the school, one could be back there next school year. 

On Tuesday night, Golden Valley city officials heard from the top brass at their police department about a new proposal to add an SRO back at Sandburg.

The Robbinsdale School District asked the City of Golden Valley to create the proposal to put an SRO back at the school.

“We have to protect our future today and that’s going to take a lot of work. This is a complicated problem that needs complicated answers,” said assistant police chief Rudy Perez.

In recent months, parents and school board members have raised major concerns about safety at Sandburg Middle School, which also houses the Highview Alternative Program.

In June, a 15-year-old girl was arrested and charged with stabbing another student outside the building following a fight. Last fall, two students were charged with gun-related crimes after a video circulated on social media showing what appeared to be a gun in a school bathroom.

The new contract would not just provide an officer to keep kids safe but would also allow them to offer wrap-around services for students.

At the meeting, there was some back and forth between police and the city council about whether or not the SRO would have a weapon. 

“From what the contract states what your goals are trying to be…personally, I feel like they don’t need to be armed,” said council member Maurice Harris. 

“I think a lot of people have said just the sight of a weapon traumatizes kids,” said police chief Virgil Green. “I have to be real about the things that have happened at the school…you have 12, 14, 15-year-olds coming into the school with guns. It doesn’t traumatize kids to see one of their peers in the school with a weapon.”

The SRO would come from the Golden Valley Police Department, but it’s unclear if a new hire or an existing officer would fill the position. This comes at a time when the department is facing a severe shortage. They are currently budgeted for 31 officers, but they currently employ just 13. That includes 10 patrol officers and 3 administrators.

The city’s PEACE Commission wrote a letter opposing the idea of adding an armed officer back into the school.

The City Council will take up the issue again at their meeting on August 2.

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