DeWitt PBA defends school resource officer at Jamesville DeWitt High School

Local News

DEWITT, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — While some are demanding to take officers out of schools, the DeWitt Police Benevolent Association is standing in support of their school resource officer at the Jamesville DeWitt High School.

In this letter sent to the school board, the DeWitt PBA lists the benefits they believe the high school has experienced since installing its SRO in early 2018.

The letter notes that the SRO is a critical asset to the high school with more than 100 hours of specialized experience and state-certified instruction.

You can read the full statement below:

While some disagree on having a police presence in schools, the PBA’s hope by sending the letter is that things at Jamesville DeWitt stay as they are.

“One for the board to read it out loud so the community that is listening in to the Zoom meeting tonight can have a better understanding of what our perspective is, and two for the board to take that into serious consideration,” explained Officer and Vice President of the Benevolent Association Justin Baum.

Jamesville DeWitt implemented its SRO two years ago and the DeWitt PBA explained her job is more than just providing safety.

The SRO’s mission is to work with the students, the faculty, the staff to handle any kind of issues that may arise throughout the school year, whether it be on-campus or off-campus, and that can be anything from resolving issues between students, addressing issues that parents might be having while they’re on campus or any issues they might be having with their students or teachers

Officer and Vice President of the Benevolent Association Justin Baum

Other responsibilities of the SRO at the high school include mentoring students, educational outreach and having access to organizations and resources.

The officer’s job is to build that bridge between the students and the police to show that we’re just people too. We’re out here, we’re trying to do the right thing. If you have a problem, we’re here to help you.

We want to just make sure that what everyone fought so hard for, both from the community standpoint, our department and our school board at the time two years ago, to get in place remains in place.

Officer and Vice President of the Benevolent Association Justin Baum

The Jamesville DeWitt school board will be having their community based meeting on Monday, July 13 at 7 p.m via Zoom.

You can tune in to the virtual meeting here.

NewsChannel 9 reached out to the board and they were unable to provide any additional comment ahead of tonight’s meeting.

Raha Syracuse, a Muslim youth outreach group, released a statement that reads in part, “Perhaps, instead of having an individual-armed with deadly weapons… the school board could instead use the large amount of money currently spent on the SRO to hire social workers and better counselors, to actually and directly address the needs of their students.”

You can read that statement below:

More from NewsChannel 9:

For more local news, follow Adrienne Smith on Twitter @AdrienneSmithTV.

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