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Board opens door to police returning to schools

Fri, 3 May, 2024

News item: Board opens door to police returning to schools

At a special Board meeting on April 30, 2024, Trustees considered whether they were open to a formal relationship with Edmonton Police Service in our schools. 

After considering input from over 30 speakers and insight provided in the 231-page board package, the Board decided it would be open to a formal relationship with police in schools. 

Engagement results in the 231-page document included:

  • a study focusing on the experiences marginalized youth have had in schools with school resource officers (SROs)
  • feedback gathered during social innovation labs held last fall
  • feedback gathered through the Division Feedback Survey
  • conversations with Division principals
  • key information from the previous board on the SRO program

Trustees also returned delegation of authority back to the Edmonton Public Schools Superintendent regarding partnerships with police. The Superintendent will now request discussions with police about what a potential new partnership could look like, taking into account the wide-ranging feedback on school safety. There is no timeline set.


The School Resource Officer program started as a joint venture between Edmonton Public Schools, Edmonton Catholic Schools and the Edmonton Police Service in 1979.

Before Edmonton Public Schools put the program in their schools on hold in September 2020, SROs were assigned to:

  • 11 Division high schools
  • one K-12 school
  • seven junior high schools*
  • one junior-senior high school*

* shared equally with another Division or Edmonton Catholic school

Program review timeline

In June 2020, the Board of Trustees unanimously voted for an independent review of the SRO program.

While the SRO program review was in progress, a Youth Enhanced Deployment model was put in place by police for the 2020–21 school year. Under this model, officers who are trained to respond with youth were assigned to respond to school calls. These officers also maintained community policing duties. The program was in place for one year. 

Principals had the discretion, based on the school’s circumstances, to hire a safety coach to help meet the needs of their school community. Some schools piloted having a safety coach for one school year.

An SRO report was released in June 2023. The study intentionally focused on the voices of racialized and otherwise marginalized students. Following this, the Board wanted to hear further perspectives on the wider topic of school safety. 

Social innovation labs and engagement sessions were held in October–November 2023. These events invited participants to share their lived experiences and perspectives and work together to find school safety solutions. 

Trustees also met with school staff earlier this year, to hear their perspectives. 

Students, staff and families also had an opportunity to provide input through a special set of safety questions, which were added to this year’s Division Feedback Survey.

At the April 30, 2024 special Board meeting, after hearing comments from speakers and considering all information in the 231-page meeting package, the Board voted to be open to the Edmonton Police Service having a formal role in Division schools to enhance student and staff safety.