CRPD No Longer Being Stationed at Cedar Rapids Middle Schools
The Cedar Rapids school board has voted to decrease the number of police officers in schools from seven down to five, according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette. The move will completely remove Cedar Rapids police officers from the district's middle school buildings.
The decision by the school board contradicts what the Cedar Rapids City Council decided just last month. The Gazette reports that the city council voted to keep Cedar Rapids police officers at McKinley STEAM Academy and Wilson Middle School. Those two schools saw slightly more incidents last year. Those two officers would also help address needs at the city's other middle schools.
The Cedar Rapids school board voted 5 to 2 on Monday to remove the two officers from the district's middle schools. The Gazette reports that school board member Jennifer Borcherding stated that having people in schools that are trained child psychologists and therapists, and not police officers first, "is a better service for our students." She also added that the same services being provided now by resource officers could be obtained for free by simply dialing 9-1-1.
The Gazette reports that data shows that last school year there were 51 incidents at Cedar Rapids middle schools. 30 of them occurred at either McKinley or Wilson middle school. Incidents included assaults, threats, and loaded weapons. The revised contract with the Cedar Rapids police department is in effect through June 30th, 2023. Officers will still be stationed at Jefferson, Kennedy, Washington, and Metro high schools as well as the Polk Alternative Education Center.