The Madison School Board approved an amended contract Monday night by a 4-2 vote that will retain the contract that keeps police officers in the city’s four main high schools through 2022. However, with that approval came an amendment that would allow officers to be removed from the schools who abuse their authority. Madison Police Chief Mike Koval said in a blog post today that he never agreed to the new language.

“So needless to say, we DO NOT have a contract with MMSD for the SRO’s,” Koval wrote. “I can only assume that MMSD will present proposed language changes to me shortly, but again, I will reiterate that the processes for disciplining or assigning officers are governed by state law and labor contract, and these rights cannot be bargained away in an agreement with a third party. We have always worked cooperatively with MMSD to select our resource officers and to address any areas of improvement. However, the law does not permit us to pre-determine discipline through the contract language that was suggested.”

The board added language to the contract that would allow the district to remove an office for “cause.” The contract is not final until it has gone through the Common Council and has been authorized for signatures.

“Frankly, it is time for the School Board to end this 18-month saga and just ratify the terms of the contract that were agreed upon,” Koval wrote. “I believe that I am speaking for more than just a few folks when I say that the future of MMSD is tied to the perceptions and the realities of school safety – time to act and get this done without further debates, committees, and studies.”

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