URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — The Urbana City Council unanimously voted on Monday to move forward with renewing its agreement with the Urbana Police Department to provide a school resource officer at Urbana schools.
The School Board has already signed off on the renewal, and with Monday’s vote, the city is one step closer to having an SRO at the school again. The decision comes almost two weeks after a deadly mass shooting an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas that left 19 children and two teachers dead.
Not everyone was in support of keeping the agreement in place; some people opposed having an SRO. But most people and students who attended the City Council meeting shared stories about the high school and spoke of why the position needs to continue in Urbana schools.
Several students who spoke said they feel safer at school with an SRO. Mayor Diane Marlin said she has always supported resource officers and, given the tragedy in Uvalde, they are more important than ever.
“The events of the last couple of weeks have just been horrific,” marlin said. “My kids were in middle school when Columbine happened, and I remember the horror and the sheer terror back then, and it hasn’t changed. So unfortunately, we have an entire generation of people who have grown up under this threat, this very real threat. It’s more than a threat, it’s a reality.”
School resource officers are sworn officers who monitor school campuses, preventing and responding to crime in schools. They have additional training to be on school campuses.
Mayor Marlin said the final vote will be held next week to finalize the proposal. It is expected to pass.