The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set to discuss and vote Tuesday on a possible change to the way in which school districts contract with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.
School boards, such as the William S. Hart Union High School District’s, currently have the opportunity to enter into contractual agreements with the Sheriff’s Department to receive a certain number of hours a week for school resource officers, or SRO’s, to be on their campuses.
The Hart district currently has a contract with the Sheriff’s Department that allows for a handful of deputies to cover approximately two to three schools each.
However, if the new system is approved, the contracting process will include more relative oversite — with school districts and the Sheriff’s Department needing to go before the county Board of Supervisors every year for approval.
“Agenda item No. 2 is saying, No. 1: (the contract) is approved through the end of June 30, 2022,” said Christina Mesesan, justice deputy for Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s office. “And then after June 30, 2022, the school board and LASD must come to the Board of Supervisors for approval.”
By requiring the school district to come every year, instead of every three years, Mesesan said that the request for deputies on campuses will be more labor-intensive.
Additionally, the Board of Supervisors, should the motion pass, has also asked for the Sheriff’s Department to provide more data concerning the positive impact deputies are having on these campuses.
If a school board then looks at the data given to them by the Sheriff’s Department, they can then have a better understanding on whether they will continue with the contracts the way they’re currently established. Hart District officials were unavailable to comment as of the publication of this story.
“If the school looks at all of the incoming data and makes the decision not to move forward, they will not,” said Mesesan, “because it’s every year, and every year they have the opportunity to reevaluate.”
If the motion, brought forward by Supervisors Holly Mitchell and Sheila Kuehl, is not passed, then, Mesesan said, the status quo will continue, and the school resource deputy program will continue as usual.
The county Board of Supervisors meeting is scheduled 9:30 a.m. and will be broadcast live via the county’s website at http://bos.lacounty.gov/Board-Meeting/Live-Broadcast.