OLR Research Report


MEMORANDA OF UNDERSTANDING AND SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS

By: Marybeth Sullivan, Legislative Analyst II

Timothy Bleasdale, Legislative Fellow


QUESTION
Of the Connecticut public school districts that have school resource officers (SROs), how many have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) or agreement (MOA) with the local police department that employs the SRO?

SUMMARY

Since SROs are employees of local police departments, OLR surveyed 21 departments that listed SROs on their websites. We also reviewed testimony to the Judiciary Committee on SB 54 (An Act Concerning Collaboration between Boards of Education and Law Enforcement Personnel) that indicated two other departments have SROs.

The survey responses and testimony from 14 of these departments reveal that as of the date of this report:

1. eight have a signed MOU with the school district,

2. three are in the process of drafting an MOU, and

3. three have no MOU or draft in progress.

MOU/MOA BETWEEN POLICE AND SCHOOL DISTRICTS

Local police departments and school districts often sign a MOU or MOA that outlines the SRO's job description. These agreements help prevent conflicts or assignments outside the scope of the SRO's duties as a sworn police officer employed by a municipality.

Table 1 describes SRO assignments and MOU/MOA usage among the surveyed police departments and school districts. When available, the table provides a link to the MOU/MOA document.

Table 1: Local Police SRO Assignments and MOU/MOA Usage*

Police Department

SRO assignments

MOU/MOA with local school district

Link to MOU/MOA

Berlin

One SRO stationed at the high school.

No, but considering drafting one.

No

Bridgeport

Specific assignments unclear. One lieutenant assigned as full-time liaison between the department and the schools; oversees security at all Bridgeport schools.

Yes

Unavailable

Cromwell

One SRO stationed at the high school.

No, but currently in the process of drafting one.

Draft unavailable

Fairfield

One SRO stationed at each of the two high schools.

Yes

Current copy unavailable; new draft in progress

Farmington

One SRO stationed at both the high school and alternative high school.**

Yes

Yes

Hartford

Specific assignments unclear.

Yes

Copy attached to bill testimony

Manchester

Two SROs stationed at the high school, one at the middle school, and one split between Manchester Regional Academy and the alternative high school.

Yes

Yes

Meriden

Yes

No

No

New London

One SRO stationed at the high school.

No, but currently in the process of drafting one.

Draft unavailable

Newtown

One SRO stationed at the high school and one at the middle school. One youth officer teaches 5th and 6th grade D.A.R.E.

Yes

Yes

South Windsor

One SRO stationed at high school, one at the middle school, and one rotates among five elementary schools.

Yes

Yes

Torrington

One SRO stationed at the high school.

No, but currently in the process of drafting one.

Draft unavailable

Waterford

One SRO stationed at the high school and one at the middle school.

No

No

Windham

One SRO stationed at the high school.

Yes

Yes

* Table 1 information is current though date of publication. Annual school district budgets often cause SRO employment to fluctuate in situations where the school district pays the police department for all or some of the SRO's salary.

** Two youth officers also rotate among six elementary and middle schools.

MS/TB:ro