MPR News with Angela Davis

Can school resource officers make schools safer?

Chatting with coworkers
Officer Mohamed Abdullahi (right) chats with Minneapolis police school resource officer Victor Mills (left) and youth resource coordinator Rick Maas before patrolling in Minneapolis.
Jeffrey Thompson | MPR News 2011

Minnesota communities have spent the last few years debating the role of police in schools.

In 2020 after the murder of George Floyd, the Minneapolis school board voted to end its contract with police and removed school resource officers, or SROs, from Minneapolis Public Schools.

Many other districts across the country also phased out SROs, including St. Paul.

Then last year, the state Legislature passed a law that limited how officers could physically restrain students. Some law enforcement agencies raised concerns that the new restrictions left them open to lawsuits and pulled their SROs from schools just before the start of this school year.

That brings us to the present moment. In March, updated legislation that clarified restraints and provided for more training and a uniform school resource officer policy was signed into law. As some law enforcement agencies prepare to return SROs to schools, basic questions remain:

Do school resource officers make schools safer?

Can a trusted police officer in a school building prevent violence and support students in crisis without leading to more students being suspended, expelled or arrested?

At 9 a.m. on Tuesday, MPR News host Angela Davis explored the role of SROs with current and former school resource officers.


  • Rudy Perez is president of the National Association of School Resource Officers. He relocated to Minnesota in 2023 to serve as assistant chief of police for the Golden Valley Police Department, where he oversees patrol services including school resource officers. He previously served 22 years in the Los Angeles School Police Department, as an SRO and later as a lieutenant overseeing school resource officers. He joined MPR News from St. Cloud where he’s attending a Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association training.

  • Charles Adams III was a police officer with the Minneapolis Police Department for 20 years and a school resource officer until 2020 at North Community High School in Minneapolis. He still coaches the North Polars football team and was featured in the 2023 Showtime documentary “Boys in Blue” which followed the team during the 2021 season. He’s now director of team security for the Minnesota Twins.

  • Todd Mohr has been a school resource officer for the Mankato Department of Public Safety for nine years. He works mainly out of West High School in Mankato.

Subscribe to the MPR News with Angela Davis podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or RSS.  

Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.   

Volume Button
Now Listening To Livestream
MPR News logo
On Air
MPR News