ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ) — Students, parents and community members will be able to take part in a number of focus groups and a town hall meeting to discuss the future of the school resource officer program within the Howard County Public School System.

The school system will hold a number of focus groups in October and the town hall in November. Further details were not immediately available.

In a joint statement, County Executive Calvin Ball, Superintendent Michael Matirano and Board of Education Chair Mavis Ellis said decisions about the program’s future will be made with “the well-being and safety of our students, staff and school community” at the forefront.

Howard County Board Of Education Votes Against Removing School Resource Officers

“Earlier this summer, following a national discussion on the role of police officers in public schools, there were calls to remove Howard County Police Department School Resources Officers (SROs) from the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS). In response, we began planning a comprehensive community dialogue to examine our SRO program,” the statement reads.

Last week, the county’s school board voted to keep resource officers in all 12 high schools and split among middle schools.

A report about the program is set to be released by the September 24 education board meeting.

CBS Baltimore Staff