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Montgomery County Council Members To Introduce Bill To Remove School Resource Officers

Two Montgomery County, Maryland, Council members are set to introduce a bill to remove school resource officers, Fox 5 reported.

Council members Will Jawando and Hans Riemer seeks to transfer funds for the Montgomery County School Resource Officers program funds to other areas, such as adding school nurses and mental health professionals, Fox 5 reported. The pair announced the bill during a Defund the Police demonstration Saturday.

Jawando said schools would have more trained security guards and that police will continue responding if the situations are serious, according to Fox 5.

“I think we need to move this before kids get back to school and so the legislative process takes some time and I think that’s why we need to introduce the bill now,” Jawando told FOX 5 on Sunday.

Jawando said he plans to introduce is before Thanksgiving. He previously introduced a motion, which ultimately failed, that would have eliminated 12 of the 23 county school resource officers.

He also asked for the program’s removal in a July letter, Fox5 reported.

About half of the children school resource officers arrested between 2016 and 2020 were black, even though only about 22% of the student population was black, according to Jawando.

Five council members opposed to removing student resource officers prefer to wait for the Board of Education to determine whether the program should stay, Bethesda Magazine reported. But Riemer and Jawando disagreed.

“I think it’s our decision. It’s our police department,” Riemer said, Bethesda Magazine reported. “I think we’re the ones accountable for this.”

“I think there are professionals who can do a much better job reaching kids who need to be reached,” he continued. “I hope the school system is willing to think bigger and approach this in a more visionary way,” Riemer continued.

Neither Jawando nor Riemer immediately responded to a request for comment.

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  1. As a school board member I believe this is a terrible idea and not just from an active shooter threat to the schools. As we have removed the ability to discipline students by the teachers and administrators often the only way to maintain some kind of stable learning environment has been through the SRO’s stepping in to take care of unruly students. Also, I was not aware that crimes committed may only follow the demographics percentages in schools.

  2. Peter, I agree.

    Rule of law and respect for authority should be learned as early as possible and reinforced at every opportunity. Removing that at such a crucial stage of development is a mistake.

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