Montgomery County Schools to Unveil ‘Community Engagement Officer’ Plan

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Montgomery County superintendents are ready to share a new plan to keep police and schools tightly linked.

The plan follows a shooting that occurred at Magruder High School in January.

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FOX 5’s Maureen Umeh said the new memorandum of understanding outlines the new relationship between the schools and the police.

The big change from the old School Resource Officer program is that the Community Law Enforcement Officer, or CEO as they will now be called, would not be stationed inside the schools, but would be responsible for covering school buildings.

According to board documents that include a copy of the memorandum of understanding, with the new 2.0 plan, CEOs have an office in the school building and have the authority to respond to school service calls.

But officers won’t patrol the halls or get involved in disciplining students, Umeh said.

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The memorandum of understanding states that CEOs will have a “designated private office” near the schools’ main office, but “will not be stationed there permanently.”

An officer “may also be invited” to participate in school events, including career days, assemblies and other events for staff and students.

The new arrangement also allows CEOs to view available security videos related to “critical incidents” in schools, such as cases of death, rape, robbery, hate crimes, possession of a firearm and gang-related offences.

The changes come following concerns over rising violence in schools over the past year, including a shooting at Magruder High School involving two students and a ghost gun in January.

This violence has led to calls for police to return to school buildings after their withdrawal last year.

School and police officials will brief the Montgomery County Board on the new memorandum of understanding during its Tuesday afternoon session.

Council members will have the opportunity to ask questions, but at this stage they cannot change the plans.


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