The Role of School Resource Officers in Massachusetts

A model memorandum of understanding provides guidance to police and schools on the role of school resource officers.

A model memorandum of understanding (MOU) governing the role of school resource officers (SROs) in Massachusetts schools was released by Attorney General Maura Healey, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

In accordance with the criminal justice reform law enacted in April 2018, MOUs made between school districts and police departments must provide new details about the roles and responsibilities of SROs in Massachusetts schools. These MOUs must ensure that SROs do not take the place of appointed school disciplinarians, enforcers of school regulations, or school-based mental health providers. The law ensures that SROs do not use police powers to address traditional school discipline issues, including non-violent disruptive behavior, and restricts law enforcement action in response to certain school-based offenses.

This section of the criminal justice reform law became effective on July 13, 2018.

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