Phoenix high school district bringing back officers to its campuses

Next year could look a lot different for teachers and students with Phoenix Union High School, as they've voted to have police return to campus, with a few changes.

The Phoenix Union school board accepted grant money from the Arizona Department of Education to hire six officers, who will be called RROs, or Regional Response Officers.

The district still has to finalize some details, but says two officers will be assigned to each region – central, south, and west. They will be dispatched when needed.

In 2020, officials in the school district announced they wouldn't re-sign an agreement with the city of Phoenix for SROs. But in the past few months, the district has re-thought the relationship, holding listening sessions on the issue.

Some parents and students shared safety concerns on campus, including a student that was arrested for bringing an AR-15 with ammunition to Bostrom High School in May.

"There’s nothing like getting a text message from your child saying they are under a desk with a teacher, don’t know what’s happening," said Randy Schiller.

Schiller is a former Phoenix Union school board member who also had a child graduate recently from the district.

He says this about the board decision: "I think the regionals is a small step in the right direction, but 18 officers, would have been the better solution – one on every campus. To me, that is the only solution."


Phoenix high school district debates returning police officers to its campuses

Members of the governing board for the Phoenix Union High School District are poised to make a decision on whether or not to bring back school resource officers, after they decided not to bring them back in 2020.

But Keisha, the mother of a student who will eventually be in Phoenix Union, sees the decision differently.

"There is a lack of creativity I think, a lack of the ability to think outside of safety outside of police," she said.

The next step is for the city of Phoenix to approve the Intergovernmental Agreement. Once that happens, RROs will go into effect for the fall semester.