Mayor Brandon Johnson, in the midst of escalating violent crime in Democrat-controlled Chicago, has expressed his endorsement for the proposal to withdraw police presence from the city’s schools, which have been plagued by murders.

In an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times and WBEZ, Mayor Johnson made it known that he stands behind the Chicago Board of Education’s resolution to terminate the contract with the Chicago Police Department (CPD).

According to reports, principals have been informed by Chicago Public School (CPS) authorities to make necessary preparations for the potential absence of police officers by the upcoming autumn.

The mayor said:

“The Board of Education is moving in the direction that I do support.

“There is an intergovernmental agreement between Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Police Department.

“To end that agreement, there’s no qualms from me there.”

Since the CPS entered into a contract worth $10.3 million with the police department, their relationship has been met with controversy. CPS officials are now considering an alternative approach to school officers by contemplating the implementation of “roving units” consisting of police officers.

These units would be responsible for patrolling the areas surrounding schools, aiming to promptly address any potential threats to students. In January, the Chicago Board of Education reportedly sought to strip Local School Councils of their authority to decide whether to have school resource officers (SROs) present in their schools.

According to local news outlet WBEZ, the board will remove all officers from school premises after taking away this decision-making power from the local councils. Critics argue that this move undermines the democratic process in local school decisions by depriving Local School Councils of their authority to determine the presence of SROs. Mark Grishaber, the Principal of Taft High School, expressed concerns about this potential decision, emphasizing that safety remains their top priority.

Grishaber referred to a survey indicating that 80-90% of parents, faculty, and students at his school support the presence of police officers in schools. Despite the support for SROs, Grishaber claimed to have been informed that the board had already made its decision. While some schools chose to remove officers in 2020, Taft High School was among the few that voted to retain them on their premises.

Johnson, during his mayoral campaign, strongly criticized the presence of police officers in schools. He argued that in communities already burdened with issues such as over-incarceration, criminalization, profiling, and mistrust, armed officers should not be stationed on school grounds.

However, after being elected, Johnson changed his stance and expressed support for local school councils to have the authority to decide whether police officers should be present in schools. It has been reported that the Chicago Board of Education will make a decision this summer regarding the renewal of the police contract.

In 2020, amidst the violent riots led by the Black Lives Matter movement following the tragic death of George Floyd, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) advocated for the removal of police officers from schools.