Policy 5120

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The board recognizes the importance of law enforcement authorities in providing safe schools. The board desires an effective working relationship with law enforcement. To this end, the superintendent and principals are expected to communicate the needs of the schools and work with law enforcement officials in developing joint programs and in establishing protocols for handling situations in which the assistance of law enforcement is helpful or necessary. The superintendent shall establish procedures for school contacts with law enforcement agencies.

The superintendent shall ensure that local law enforcement have schematic diagrams, including digital schematic diagrams, of all school facilities and provide them updates of the schematic diagrams when the school system makes substantial facility modifications, such as the addition of new facilities or modifications to doors or windows. The superintendent shall also provide local law enforcement with emergency access to key storage devices for all school buildings and with updated access to school building key storage devices when changes are made to the devices.

School resource officers will be assigned duties as specified in a written understanding between the law enforcement agency and the school system.

Law enforcement officials, including school resource officers, should not initiate administrative investigations, including investigations to determine whether student behavior policies have been violated, but may be used to assist school officials in such investigations for safety or other reasons as determined necessary by the principal or designee. Law enforcement officials may be contacted to report possible criminal conduct on school premises or at school-sponsored activities. (See policy 4335, Criminal Behavior, for more information regarding mandatory reporting of certain criminal behaviors.) However, school officials will independently investigate violations of school rules or board policies even if such violations may also involve criminal behavior.

School administrators and employees are expected to cooperate in criminal investigations but should attempt to do so in a way that minimizes disruptions to the educational environment.

Visits by probation officers to students during the school day must be in accordance with policy 5020, Visitors to the Schools.

Legal References: G.S. 115C-36, -47, -105.53

Cross References: School Safety (policy 1510-4200-7270), Criminal Behavior (policy 4335), Student Searches (policy 4342), Visitors to the Schools (policy 5020)

Adopted: January 12, 2015

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