Mayor Grebien Releases New School Resource Officer Agreement Between Schools and Police


Pawtucket – Mayor Donald R. Grebien released today a new School Resource Officer (SRO) agreement between the Pawtucket School and Police Departments to continue to build safe and supportive learning environments for all students.

The agreement strengthens and clarifies the relationship and roles of the school principal and the resource officer. Both the principal and the resource officer will continue to ensure that students and teachers have access to a safe, orderly, and productive learning environment. The principal will remain the primary administrator and disciplinarian and will not rely on the resource officer for enforcement of minor disciplinary infractions. School resource officers will undergo training such as working with juveniles and de-escalation techniques. In addition to strengthening the relationship between the principal and officer, the agreement will also provide our students with the opportunity to build positive relationships and resolve issues with law enforcement before they escalate outside of school.

“Through our continued collaboration, the police and schools have developed a school resource officer agreement that can serve as a model for schools across the state,” said Mayor Grebien. “Thank you to our educators, administrators, and law enforcement officials for continuing to think carefully about safety and discipline and looking for ways to improve our practices.”

“We are focused on providing our students with the supports they need to be successful in and out of the classroom,” said Superintendent Patti DiCenso. “I applaud our educators for their work on these issues, and value our partnership with the Pawtucket Police Department.”

“Our school resource officers’ work in partnership with our schools to ensure that our students are safe,” said Police Chief Paul King. “They also serve our school community by building relationships with students, providing counseling and training, and intervening early to prevent issues from escalating.”

This spring, Mayor Grebien created an SRO Ad Hoc Commission made up of state and local partners to advise the City during the development of a revised SRO agreement. The Commission was tasked with examining all aspects of the SRO program in Pawtucket and conducting an assessment of the program’s effectiveness.

The agreement builds upon the City’s strategy to create safe and supportive environments for our students. Through a $500,000 increase to the School Department this year, they added additional social workers and behavioral support workers, provided educators with training, and implemented an anti-bullying program. The positive interventions and supports for students are leading to improved school atmospheres.

School Resource Officer Ad Hoc Commission
Memorandum of Understanding for School Resource Officers

Antonio J. Pires, Director of Public Safety and Administration
Paul King, Chief, Pawtucket Police Department
James Halpin, Detective and President, Fraternal Order of Police, Pawtucket Police Department
Joel Saccoccio, School Resource Officer, Pawtucket Police Department
Patti DiCenso, Superintendent, Pawtucket Public Schools
Lee Rabbitt, Assistant Superintendent, Pawtucket Public Schools
Jacqueline Ash, Principal, Shea High School
Dino Campopiano, Dean, Shea High School
Lisa Benedetti-Ramzi, Principal, Geoff Junior High School
Derek Borek, Lieutenant, Patrol Commander, Rhode Island State Police
Stephen Dambruch, First Assistant, United States Attorney
John McAdams, Second Assistant, United States Attorney