State law authorizes the placement of local law enforcement or security personnel and establishes clear guidelines and safeguards regarding the appropriate role of officers on school campuses.
Code of the District of Columbia 5-132.01. Definitions.
(3) “School resource officer” means a sworn MPD officer assigned to DCPS or public charter schools for the purpose of working in collaboration with DCPS, public charter schools, and community-based organizations to:
- (A) Prevent crime through community-oriented policing strategies;
- (B) Address crime and disorder, gang, and drug activity problems affecting or occurring in or around the schools to which the school resource officer is assigned; and
- (C) Ensure that DCPS schools and grounds and public charter schools and their grounds are safe environments for students, teachers, and staff. (4) “School security guards” means un-armed personnel, trained and hired by the MPD School Safety Division. (5) “School security personnel” means school resource officers and school security guards.
Code of the District of Columbia 5-132.04 Comprehensive plan on school security; Memorandum of agreement.
(a) By March 1, 2005, the Mayor shall recommend to the Council whether the school security guards shall be employees of the MPD, employees of DCPS, or contracted for by the MPD for Fiscal Year 2006 and beyond. (b) By June 1, 2005, the Mayor, in coordination with the Superintendent, DCPS administrators, parents, students and teachers, shall develop a comprehensive plan to implement this subchapter and submit the plan to the Board of Education and the Council. The plan shall include the following:
- (1) The qualifications and hiring process for school security personnel;
- (2) The transfer of personnel, property, funds, and records including an ongoing procedure for allocating DCPS capital funds to MPD for security needs; and
- (3) Lines of authority, supervision, and communication between the MPD and DCPS, including a process for resolving disagreements between DCPS and MPD at all levels, accepted by both the Mayor and the Superintendent. (c) The plan required by subsection (b) of this section shall be submitted to the Council for a 45-day period of review, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays, and days of Council recess. If the Council does not approve or disapprove the proposed plan, in whole or in part, by resolution within this 45-day period, the proposed plan shall be deemed approved. (d) MPD and DCPS shall enter into a Memorandum of Agreement that shall specify security terms and responsibilities as outlined in the recommendation and plan submitted by the Mayor pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) of this section. (e) Both the comprehensive implementation plan and the Memorandum of Agreement required by this section shall describe in detail, but not be limited to, the following:
- (1) How school security personnel deployed at each school will provide security in coordination with the school’s principal; provided, that during emergencies, incident command shall be consistent with the District of Columbia response plan as defined by §7-2301(1A); and
- (2) How the operating and capital funds, positions, personnel, property, records, and unexpended balances of appropriations, allocations, and other funds available or to be made available to DCPS that support the provision of security to DCPS will be utilized to carry out the provisions of this subchapter.
Code of the District of Columbia 5–132.02. Establishment of the Metropolitan Police Department School Safety Division; functions of the School Safety Division.
(c) The School Safety Division shall:
- (1) Hire all school security personnel for DCPS;
- (A) Deploy school security personnel to DCPS; and
- (B) Deploy school resource officers to public charter schools;
- (3) Provide oversight over school security personnel and be responsible for administering all disciplinary actions related to school security personnel, including termination;
- (4) Execute, approve, monitor, and provide oversight over any contract for school security personnel.