Blue Earth County Sheriff reinstates SRO program at 2 schools

With new clarity on a state law restricting school resource officers, the Blue Earth County Sheriff's Office says it will reinstate its SRO program.

Headed into the school year, multiple law enforcement agencies pulled their SROs from schools, citing concerns and confusion over the new state law. The new law restricts use of force by SROs, including putting students in the prone position. Officers said the new law didn't clearly state when SROs could use force.

Last week, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison issued new guidance on the law, saying there had been "significant misunderstandings" about the new law. Ellison says SROs can use reasonable force when a student poses a threat to themselves or others – and officers do not have to wait until someone has been hurt to act.

The Blue Earth County Sheriff's Office says, with Ellison's statement along with guidance from the POST Board and Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, it will resume its program at the St. Clair and Lake Crystal school districts.

"The Sheriff’s Office remains hopeful that the 2024 Legislative Session provides clarity to the statute," reads the post from the sheriff's office. "The Sheriff’s Office feels very strongly that the SRO positions are extremely important and both school districts are excited to welcome them back into their schools."