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Poudre School District extends contracts for officers in schools

While the contracts were extended, district leaders said they will take action in response to protests including clarifying the roles of school resource officers.

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. — Police officers will stay in the Poudre School District for another year after the school board approved contract extensions Tuesday night following arguments from both sides.

Students protested earlier this month saying that they didn't want the northern Colorado district to renew contracts with the Fort Collins Police Department, the Larimer County Sheriff's Office and the Town of Timnath Police Department, claiming students of color have higher rates of run-ins with police.

While the contracts were extended, district leaders said they will take action in response to those protests, including clarifying the roles of school resource officers (SROs) and creating equity coalitions in every school to get input from students and teachers.

RELATED: A conversation about the Denver Public Schools contract with police

The district said it will also work to get more feedback from parents and the community, and collect data throughout the school year on interactions with resource officers.

All of that information will be discussed when the contracts come up again next year.

"I think a lot of us are worried about being on the wrong side of history at this moment in time,"  Board President Christophe Febvre said. "While we may be voting to partner with SROs this coming year, I believe this board is still serving notice at this point. We expect change."

The school board said it is willing to review "standard operating procedures" for SROs before the school year begins. Those procedures can be updated as the school year goes on.

Poudre is the latest district in Colorado do discuss the presence of SROs. The Denver Public Schools Board of Education voted unanimously earlier this month to end its contract with the Denver Police Department that provides school resource officers to the district. 

RELATED: Denver school board unanimously votes to pull DPD officers out of schools

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