The Delta School District and Delta Police are committed to continuing to look for opportunities to ensure the school liaison program delivers the most relevant and appropriate student engagement.
That’s what both organizations noted in a statement to the Optimist following recent news that the school boards in New Westminster and Vancouver decided to remove police officers from schools.
The Vancouver district, in late April, became the first in B.C. to end its program, phasing out uniformed police officers from schools by the end of June.
New Westminster’s board quickly followed, immediately ending the district's Child and Youth Liaison Officer Program due to concerns that armed officers could be disturbing to racialized or LGBTQ youth.
The Delta district has been working closely with the Delta Police to ensure all local schools have a designated school liaison officer.
According to the district, officers also work in partnership with school administrators and outside agencies including ICBC, parent advisory committees and Delta Youth Services to provide presentations to both youth and their parents.
Presentations that have been provided to the community in recent years include forums on drinking and driving, drugs, bullying and youth violence.
Asked if the Delta school board is also considering reviewing the future of the program, including whether any changes to what’s delivered might be considered, the district and police department in a joint statement indicated the program is not in danger of being cancelled.
“The Delta School District and Delta Police Department have been following recent events in Vancouver and New Westminster with interest. Due to our collaborative working relationship and because our size allows us to be readily adaptable, we believe we are able to successfully meet the needs of our community with our School Liaison Officer (SLO) program. Throughout the 50-year history of the SLO program, our overall goal has been to create safe learning environments in our schools by forming partnerships and relationships between police, students, staff and parents,” the statement reads.
“We are both are committed to continuing to look for opportunities to ensure the SLO program delivers the most relevant and appropriate student engagement programming moving forward.”