Eight special police officers paid by the school district but managed by the police department stand to lose their state certification if the board votes tonight to sever the school safety memorandum, according to a letter from Bridgeport Police Chief Gaudett sent to the Board of Education on Monday.
Currently, there are five Bridgeport Police Officers assigned as School Resource Officers (SROs). They are paid by the city, which means, even if the memorandum of agreement is ended, they will continue to work under the police chief. In addition to the five SROs, there are also eight ‘special police officers’ who are paid by the board.
If the board votes to end its partnership with the police department, the chief of police will have to notify the state that these officers are no longer being managed by city’s police department. Losing their certification means they will lose their authority to make arrests or use force.
Here is an excerpt from the letter:
The ultimate legal authority for the deployment supervision and control of these eight Special Officers rests with the Chief of Police of the City of Bridgeport. If the BOE wishes to assert that it has ultimate legal control and authority over the deployment of these Special Police and therefore refuses to acknowledge the legal authority of the Chief of police in this regard, then I as chief will be left with no alternative than to notify POST and request that the certification of these officers be released. The result will be that these eight officers stand to lose their legal authority to make arrests, use force, or in any other way operate as police officers within the City of Bridgeport.
To comment on this and other stories, please check out the Education Bridgeport! Facebook page