Fayetteville City Council tables School Resource Officer discussion indefinitely

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The debate over School Resource Officers continues in the Fayetteville City Council chambers last night.

During last night’s council meeting, city leaders voted 7-1 to table the proposal indefinitely.

The school district made the request to hire more officers earlier this year.

The issue failed in a previous meeting but was brought back up for discussion last night.

It is tabled indefinitely and will expire at the end of the year unless brought back up.

Sgt. Tony Murphy with Fayetteville Police Department says SRO’s are just there to help everybody out.

Attorney Matt Bender says stats show differently for some vulnerable students.

“That’s what the police department is here to do, we’re here to protect and serve the community, and our community asked for those school resource officers. That’s why we were there at the Council Chambers for that debate last night,” Murphy said.

“We see in the local data that there is a systemic racial bias toward arresting students of color,” Bender said.

A $250,000 grant would have funded the positions leaving the city and school district to pay a remaining $312,710.

The next council meeting will feature a discussion about grant money for the Drug Task Force.

Bender says he expects that to be a heated meeting, too.

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