Madison finance committee approves new contract for Madison SROs

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Madison Finance Committee has just approved a new contract for school resource officers in Madison's school district, recommending the contract to the Common Council.

Under the new contract, the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) can work with police to pull one of the four SROs from one of the high schools in the future. The contract would begin with four SROs, one in each of the district's four high schools.

"I think it's a better contract than the last one that we had," said Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway. "I think it gives the school district and the school board more options, and yes, I think it will put us in a better place."

While the vote to approve the contract passed in the finance committee, not everyone was in agreement.

District 18 Alder Rebecca Kemble said that with the current amount of Madison police officers, those officers should be doing their patrol and investigative duties for the City of Madison.

"It makes zero sense to me to let four of our officers go to an outside entity, be it public or private, so that is the basis for my no vote," Kemble said.

The Madison Common Council will have the final vote to implement the contract in the first week of July.

As NBC15 has reported extensively in recent months, the issue of school resource officers is controversial in the district.

On June 10, the Board of Education voted to pass the same contract.

The contract assigns SROs to four Madison high schools from August 2019 to June 2022.

The contract between the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) and the City of Madison says that MMSD can reduce the number of SROs assigned to MMSD from four SROs, one in each high school, to three SROs for the 2020-2021 school year.

According to the contract, "MMSD shall notify the City in writing before the removal is to occur. Specifically said notice shall be provided by September 15, 2019, to effectuate a reduction on June 15, 2020 or June 10, 2020 to effectuate a reduction on January 1, 2021."

The contract also says MMSD or the City can cancel the contract effective June 15, 2021, with written notice of termination no later than September 15, 2020.