Dr. Art Jarvis continues the suspension status for School Resource Officers (SRO) or Community Engagement Officers (CEO) and further recommends against implementing the district CEO proposal. The Bellevue School District and the City of Bellevue have agreed to maintain an excellent relationship and continue any necessary police services through usual civic and emergency channels. Bellevue Police will continue to respond to safety emergencies and requested service.
On July 1, 2021, Dr. Jarvis was tasked with responding to a report by an advisory committee assembled by the previous superintendent regarding the status of the SRO program. The report confirmed the suspension of the program in March 2020. It indicated that the task force could not agree on a recommendation. However, it did list guidance on two options for further consideration: reform the SRO program to address identified issues or transform it into a non-police program. Jarvis stated, “the two options reflected a significant difference of opinion as to where to go next with Safety and Security planning for the Bellevue School District. There was no consensus on the report itself, and there was no consensus regarding the options. Discussions of each option included reasons for concern and specific areas that might be addressed in any new version of the SRO program.”
The District began working with the Bellevue Police Department through a series of public engagement meetings, surveys, and outreach activities with students and the broader community to allow people to examine the proposed changes and provide more feedback. “I want to thank the many people involved in collecting that input, as well as offer my appreciation to those who participated and gave us feedback. The result of that effort confirmed that the proposal was acceptable to most people but that it would fail to achieve any consensus. Some of those responding continued to voice their beliefs that such a program would have little or no chance of success,” said Dr. Jarvis. Incoming Superintendent Dr. Kelly Aramaki will have the opportunity to develop a plan for an alternate Safety and Security program in future years.
A complete overview and history of the program can be found here.
The Bellevue School District, with over 18,000 students and 28 schools, is a diverse and dynamic district in East King County, Washington. Its mission is “To serve each and every student academically, socially, and emotionally through a rigorous and relevant education that is innovative and individualized. As a learning community that values one another’s humanity, we provide courageous support for an equitable and exceptional education for all students.”