Novato Unified Makes Changes to Campus Police

The Novato Unified School District is making changes to campus policing.

In a 6-1 vote last week, the school board voted to cancel district financing for the School Resource Officer program.

“The SRO program will continue at the minimum with one officer, which will be funded by the City of Novato,” Police Chief Matthew McCaffrey confirmed in an email to the Marin Independent Journal. “Whether we continue with the second officer will depend on if we receive a grant that the police department applied for.”

There are more changes to come. The board voted to establish a coalition to oversee new protocols for officers on campus. Ultimately, officers may only respond to emergencies. Campus police will also dress more casually to appear less intimidating to students.

Trustee Julie Jacobson said students have complained that they can’t concentrate with the sight of an officer carrying a gun. There was a push to eliminate school police entirely, so this is essentially a compromise.