Committee to once again consider changes to Madison School Officers

The Madison Metropolitan School District ERO Ad Hoc committee is scheduled to meet again Wednesday night where it will review a proposal to replace officers at Madison high schools with district-wide school liaisons.

During a July 18 meeting, tempers flared between speakers as the committee considered the proposal.

Currently, a Madison police officer is assigned to four high schools, La Follette, Memorial, West, and East, as part of the ERO (Educational Resource Officer) program.

At least one board member is not in favor of removing officers from schools.

“My personal view is that I do think ERO's keep schools safe. That's my personal opionion,” said Board Vice President James Howard.

Police Chief Mike Koval has made it clear he is against any proposal that would recommend removing officers from schools.

“I would hazard to guess the they are going to hear from parents, from students, teachers, from staff. I think that if you're only listening or pandering to the most vocal people in this whole process, that you do a grave disservice to many of Madison's silent majority over this issue will be heard,” Koval said.

A summary by the ad hoc committee says “while we do believe that there is room for reexamination of the relationship between MPD and MMSD, we do not think that the termination of the ERO contract will mean that MPD will no longer play a critical role in the work of MMSD, especially in an environment where there is a proliferation of firearms.” It went on to say, “We strongly believe that there is a lot of room for a reconsideration of the roles and relationships MPD employees have within our schools, and a much closer look at how our school leadership is utilizing their other support and security staff, relative to the way that our ERO’s are currently operating at the school sites.”

The committee adjourned before voting on the proposed recommendations.

School board member Dean Loumos said the meeting is scheduled as a working meeting and a public comment period is not on the agenda.

The meeting will be held at 545 West Dayton Street, in the Doyle Auditorium at 5 p.m.

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