Chief Koval raises concerns about clause in MPD and MMSD contract

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Madison Police Chief Mike Koval raised concerns Friday about a clause in a proposed contract between the police department and the Madison Metropolitan School District regarding school resource officers (SROs).

Koval said in a statement that the MPD and MMSD reached a tentative agreement for a contract that allows future placement of SROs in each of the four public high schools. The contract would be in effect from the fall of 2019 through June of 2022.

According to Koval, there is a new clause in the agreement that would give the school district the option to reduce the number of SROs from four to three, which he said would create a "pilot" high school without an SRO.

Koval said the clause is not good for public safety and creates moral and ethical issues when choosing which school should lose an SRO.

"Each high school has been described as a unique community, which include each of our SROs," Koval said. "How will each 'community' be evaluated for this experiment? Deciding which high school will or will not get services seems problematic. Does this school deserve any less protection from various threats to safety (i.e. an active shooter) than the other three?"

Koval said he also believes taking an SRO out of a school will increase the number of citations issued when a patrol officer has to respond to each situation.

Koval said his signature is on the contract, but whether the contract is affirmed is up to the Mayor and the Council, who must approve the City's part of any contract with fiscal implications.

NBC15 reached out to the MMSD for comment.