Public schools in Worcester, Massachusetts will replace school resource officers (SROs) with a school liaison officer model by December 31, 2021.

The decision, based on recommendations from the School Safety Task Force, will remove police officers from Worcester public schools and aims to reduce the effects of the school-to-prison pipeline, a concern voiced by community members.

Instead of patrolling in schools, law enforcement will serve as school liaison officers (SLOs)— officers that are assigned a region and can be called in for emergency or non-emergency events. The SLOs will prioritize school-related tasks alongside other duties.

According to a report from Worcester City Manager Edward Augustus Jr., most of the 44 schools in the district already use a liaison model. SROs will be removed from four high schools by the end of 2021: Burncoat High School, Doherty Memorial High School, South High Community School and Worcester Technical High School.