Letter to the editor

Letter+to+the+editor

May 25, 2021

After reading the article on the School Resource Officer and the committee to reimagine policing in Brookline, I felt that the article revealed only one narrative. While there were several people interviewed who questioned the presence of an SRO, there was only one person interviewed in support of the SRO and it was the SRO’s supervisor at the police station. There were zero students and faculty who work closely with the SRO interviewed for this piece.

With that in mind, I wanted to make sure that all of the information about the SROs are included as part of that narrative.

Here is just some of the things our SROs do:
1. They deal with restraining orders between students, between a student and a family member, or between a student and a community member. They make sure the students feel safe and understand the legal process
2. They handle fights between students. In other schools students would be arrested on the premises for fighting. Our SROs help to resolve these issues.
3. They address substance abuse or other behaviors which would normally bring students in direct contact with the justice system.
4. They work with our Legal Studies and volunteer for the Citizens Police Academy.
5. They get to know students and their families in Brookline so that when police do have to answer calls to their homes, they already have a relationship with them.
6. They help to address mental health issues to make sure that students are not threats to themselves or others.
7. They bring in Bear, the therapy dog, to help calm students during times of stress.
8. They hold meetings in their school based offices where parents are much more willing and likely to come in because it is far less intimidating.
9. They attend our sporting events and dances to support the students with whom they have built relationships.

Here is what they do NOT do:
1. They do NOT protect every student from a potential school shooting.
2. They do NOT look to arrest students or catch them doing something bad.
3. They do NOT patrol our schools.

This is a huge part of community policing which I believe has the power to make the school a better and a safer place.

Sincerely,
Marcie Miller