Denver Public Schools Communications Office February 19, 2013
Denver – Denver Public Schools (DPS) and the Denver Police Department (DPD) today signed a revised Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) defining the role of school resource officers at Denver schools. The IGA was revised in collaboration with the youth and parent group a longtime advocate for school discipline reform in Colorado. This is the first time in six years that the agreement between DPS and DPD has been overhauled.
The improvements come after a collective and thoughtful process to gather input from partners such as parents, students, School Resource Officers, and DPS leaders to identify ways in which to best ensure the safety of school campuses and further incorporate restorative approaches in schools.
DPS uses positive approaches to school discipline via a program called Restorative Justice that aims to address behavior and discipline issues among students proactively. Through this work, both the police department and the school district have seen reductions in the number of students ticketed for minor school discipline incidents. In the past two years, DPS has experienced a 60 percent drop in the number of student expulsions.
“We have seen that restorative justice works best to keep our schools safer, to keep our students in school studying, and to help our students learn from their mistakes and make them right. I want to thank our community partners who have supported and pushed us in this work,” said DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg. “Making sweeping changes in Denver requires collaboration on all levels, and partners like the Denver Police Department and Padres Y Jóvenes Unidos are critical to these very promising improvements.”
The partnership with Denver police has been an important component in keeping Denver’s schools safe. The IGA is a major step forward because it signals a shift from a standard contract for services to a true partnership agreement. The revised agreement also incorporates language from Senate Bill 46, emphasizing appropriate training for both school personnel and school resource officers. This training will help schools with positive, restorative interventions for school discipline incidents.
“This is a more comprehensive agreement between the Denver Police Department and the Denver Public Schools than we have had previously. The roles of the stakeholders are more clearly defined within this Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA),” said Denver Police Chief Robert White. “We thank all of the contributors to this effort.”
“Padres Y Jóvenes Unidos has conducted extensive outreach and brought the student voice to the table, directly working with DPD and DPS on this new agreement,” said Padres co-director Ricardo Martinez. “We are pleased to see this collaboration resulting in an agreement that will better serve our students and help to keep more students in school and out of the justice system.”
School resource officers are located at 16 Denver schools, including:
o Abraham Lincoln High School
o Bruce Randolph 6-12 School
o CEC Middle College
o Contemporary Learning Academy
o East High School
o George Washington High School
o John F Kennedy High School
o Kepner Middle School
o Lake International School
o Manual High School
o Martin Luther King, Jr., Early College
o Montbello High School Campus
o North High School
o South High School
o Thomas Jefferson High School
o West High School Campus