CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The Laramie County Sheriff’s Office is adjusting the method in which it provides service to schools in the county.
Prior to August 2022, Laramie County School District 1 had a memorandum of understanding with the county specifying the duties and limits of liability of the school resource officer, who patrolled the seven elementary schools within a 2,600-square-mile area of Laramie County. In August, prior to this administration taking office, the agreement expired.
Despite the district and the previous administration’s inability to agree on the scope of duties, the sheriff’s office continued to provide SRO services, the office said in a news release Thursday.
Sheriff Brian Kozak, after learning the SRO was involved in school tasks without clearly defined boundaries, adjusted service until the district and county can agree on the scope of duties for the SRO. Instead of having one deputy assigned to the seven elementary schools, which the sheriff said is inadequate to provide a good level of service to local children, the sheriff’s office will require all patrol deputies to patrol the schools.
“School principals may rely on the SRO to enforce academic rules and view confidential educational records, which placed the Sheriff’s Office and deputy in a compromising and litigious situation. The agreement outlines that the deputy is not to become involved in matters the principal should deal with, but focus on school security, student relationships, and law enforcement,” Kozak said.
Until the boundaries are defined for the SRO, all deputies will take part in school safety. They will continue to walk the campuses and interact with students. All deputies have been given access to unlock doors at each of the schools.
“I believe the level of service will improve since school safety will be an agency goal and not just the duty of one deputy,” Kozak said.