Defunding law enforcement surfaces; SROs possible removal due to new bills


HCSO SRO Deputy Mitchell

An SRO officer stands proudly in front of the school he is currently stationed at. According to Erik Robey, Schools have been safer with officers on sight daily.


  “With all Maryland kids slated to return to school buildings in some form in the next two months, the Maryland General Assembly is moving forward with several bills to remove our kid’s first line of defense, our School Resource Officers (SROs), from public schools throughout Maryland,” states Erik Robey, director of legislative and community affairs at Harford County Sheriff’s Office. 

     “School resource officers (SROs) are police officers who work in elementary, middle, and high schools. They are responsible for working with school administrators, security staff, and faculty on developing comprehensive safety plans to ensure schools are safe places for students to learn,” states Lisa McQuerrey of 

     McQuerrey also states that “SRO duties include help in developing best practices and then conducting drills – such as active shooter drills – for students and teachers to help prepare for the potential of a hostile threat to the school.” 

     A group of people in Annapolis has decided that SROs are no longer needed in schools, this is part of the “defund the police” project, says Robey. Senate Bill 245 says “an SRO may not be in the school building unless the school administration summoned them in to respond to an emergency involving violence or threat of violence.” 

     If this bill were to be passed, SROs would be kicked out of schools. Not being able to interact with students, greet visitors, protect teachers and students, and not being able to deter people who may hurt children. Sophomore Haley Ferran confirms this, “The officers and the students have a friendly relationship, they made things safer for us.” 

     Not many students are aware of this possible passing of these bills, sophomore Carmen Santoro states that she did not know much about the officers in the first place, let alone that they could be removed. Ferran also mentioned she “was not informed that any of this was happening”. 

     Robey expresses that he believes this is “a bad move for Maryland to go in.” He also states that “The impact of SROs in our schools is immeasurable. Thousands of kids’ lives have been saved, changed in a positive way because of the SROs.” 

     Samina Dhani, a sophomore, says “in the society we live in today, violence is very large and growing. Having [SROs in schools] can protect us and can also reassure those who feel unsafe coming to school.” To second that statement, Robey states that “violence in schools where SROs are assigned daily has decreased because of the presence of the SROs in the school buildings.” 

    “Exposure to youth violence and school violence can lead to a wide array of negative health behaviors and outcomes, including alcohol and drug use and suicide. Depression, anxiety, and many other psychological problems, including fear, can result from school violence,” states the CDC.