MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee Public Schools are no closer to having school resource officers back in MPS schools. The district confirmed to WTMJ on Tuesday, January 9 that “there is no timeline yet for board presentations regarding SRO’s.”
MPS and the Milwaukee Police Department told WTMJ last week that they are working on a plan to return officers to schools in a way that “redefines the previous role of the school resource officer.”
The district said “discussions continue” on that plan.
The Milwaukee Board of School Directors is holding a special meeting this week on Thursday, January 11, but the only thing on the agenda is the proposed funding referendum that the district has been discussing in recent months.
Regular board meetings are held every fourth Thursday of the month, with the first regular meeting of 2024 set for January 25. No agenda has been released for that meeting.
School resource officers are mandated in MPS by Wisconsin Act 12, with a January 1 deadline written into the law. GOP Representative Tony Kurtz was the principal author of the assembly bill that became Act 12. In a statement provided to WTMJ, Kurtz said he understands why the delay is occuring.
“The return of School Resource Officers to the Milwaukee Public School System is something many of my southeastern colleagues felt very strongly about. I understand there is a lot of work that goes into getting these officers back in the schools,” Kurtz said. “There’s a tight labor market and hiring and training new officers takes time.
“Additionally, the new funding for the City of Milwaukee to hire new officers comes with the sales tax and new shared revenue, neither of which can actually be used to pay officers yet. MPS has announced they’ll be submitting a plan soon and I look forward to seeing that. This is certainly something we’ll continue to monitor in the coming weeks.”