A school principal will always need a good working relationship with the local district commander, but police are asked to intervene in too many situations, Dozier believes.
“We put too much on them,” she says. “It doesn’t necessarily warrant a police response.”
The problem with getting police involved is that it sucks students into a situation from which they might never recover.
“Once a kid touches the criminal justice system, it just steamrolls,” Dozier says.
It’s not enough for CPS to give a school the option of getting rid of its police officers if no resources are offered to take their place.
In Chicago’s resource-poor schools, it’s hardly a surprise that school communities would choose to hang on to what little they have, no matter how imperfect.
Dozier agrees with those who say the $33 million that CPS spends on its police contract should be reinvested in alternative resources.
“You have to give the schools what they need,” she says. “You can’t just take [police] out and say, ‘Good luck.’ ”
Maybe that can’t be accomplished by the beginning of this school year. But it ought to be the stated goal of the Chicago Public Schools.