Ypsilanti district ends use of police in schools

Gregg Krupa
The Detroit News

The Ypsilanti Community Schools and the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office have agreed to eliminate the use of a deputy in the schools, and the school board has also voted to end the use of a city police officer.

Superintendent Alena Zachery-Ross and Sheriff Jerry Clayton jointly announced the decision on the deputy.

Both contracts with the law enforcement agencies, which school officials said were long-standing, were eliminated by a vote of the school board July 20.

Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton

“This decision does not reflect in any way the level of service previously provided, or take way from the great relationship we have with the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s office,” Zachery-Ross said.

The impact of COVID-19 on schools, emerging education budget constraints and “changing values related to officers related to officers in the schools” all weighed in the decisions, she said, according to a statement released by Ypsilanti Community Schools and the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office. “Understanding the current climate and budget implications, I fully support the board’s decision to cancel the contract at this time,” Clayton said, according to the release from the district.

“I am extremely proud of the partnership between YCS and WCSO. A relationship built on trust, mutual respect and a commitment to creating a nurturing and safe environment for our young people to learn, live and prepare for bright futures,” he said.

“Despite the ending of our contractual relationship, we will continue to partner in support of the families and employees of YCS.”

The position of the deputy sheriff will be reassigned, according to the release.