Providence FOP President: SRO unit needs to be expanded
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Following the tragic school shooting in Texas and controversy over the handling of a lockdown in a Providence middle school last week, the Providence Police Union is reiterating their call for adding school resource officers.
Providence FOP President Mike Imondi in statement that Providence has just five school resource officers servicing roughly 40 schools.
“This is a ridiculously low number, one that could not possibly provide proper level of security for students and teachers in Providence,” said Imondi.
“If you want to make schools safe all parties in government, law enforcement and the community need to come together and get serious. It comes down to what price all parties involved are willing to put on public safety an the safety of our schools,” he concluded.
Wednesday, Mayor Jorge Elorza criticized the principal of Nathanael Greene Middle School for not contacting police fast enough about a report of a gun possibly on school grounds May 26.
No gun was ultimately found and district leaders challenged Elorza on his timeline of events.
A school resource officer is not permanently assigned to Greene Middle School.
ABC 6 News reached out to the mayor’s office Thursday to see where he stands on school resource officers, but he was unavailable after his office announced he tested positive for COVID.
Last year, the Providence School Board passed a resolution calling for the removal of all school resource officers be removed from Providence Public Schools.
“PPSD will not allow an armed presence of any kind on school grounds and recognize children have the right to go to school in environments that are not akin to prisons,” read a portion of the resolution.
Gov. Dan McKee reiterated his stance earlier this week that he supports school resource officers in schools.
A spokesperson for Providence Safety Commissioner Steven Pare and Providence Police Chief Col. Hugh Clements said both were unavailable for comment Thursday.