You are here: Home About Us Policies and Procedural Directives Procedural Directives J. Students Safe Schools and Relations with Law Enforcement Authorities

Safe Schools and Relations with Law Enforcement Authorities

Purpose

Albuquerque Public Schools is committed to cooperating with law enforcement agencies for the wellbeing of its students and staff and the community.  With the wellbeing of students and staff as its driving mission, the Albuquerque Public Schools Police Department shall serve not only to protect students and staff as traditional law enforcement officers, but also shall serve as support to students and staff with the intention of intervening on the behalf of students.  This support may take many forms and includes, but is not limited to, education of students concerning dangerous and criminal behavior, assessing student and staff safety needs, investigating claims of criminal behavior, communicating and taking necessary action to maintain a safe and welcoming atmosphere in schools.

The Albuquerque Public Schools Police Department shall serve as the primary contact for local law enforcement agencies, including, but not limited to, police, sheriff, social services and immigration officials.

The Albuquerque Public Schools provides admission and equal educational opportunities to all students that meet enrollment requirements, regardless of their immigration status or national origin. In accordance with federal law and the protections and rights afforded by the Constitution of the United States of America, immigrant or foreign-born students at Albuquerque Public Schools shall not be deterred or discouraged in any manner from attending school or from seeking the benefits of the educational opportunities afforded to non-immigrant students.

Albuquerque Public Schools acts as in loco parentis while students are on school campus and is responsible for the safety and welfare of its students. Protecting the welfare and safety of students requires the close monitoring of all visitors to campus, including law enforcement and immigration officials.  Albuquerque Public Schools shall protect its students from disruptions to the educational day and environment.  As such, the following procedural directive outlines the specific processes local law enforcement agencies shall follow when conducting business in relation to Albuquerque Public Schools students and staff or when on Albuquerque Public Schools property.

Chief of Albuquerque Public Schools Police Communication with Law Enforcement Agencies

The chief of Albuquerque Public Schools Police shall meet with the chief of Albuquerque Police Department and the Bernalillo County sheriff at least bi-monthly to communicate about safety of Albuquerque Public Schools and the provisions in this procedural directive.

Access to a School Campus

A law enforcement officer not specifically assigned to a school who wishes to access a school campus shall contact the principal and Albuquerque Public Schools Police to request permission to perform law enforcement activities, including but not limited to arrests and interrogations, on campus. Upon receiving permission from Albuquerque Public Schools Police, the law enforcement officer shall provide the principal with identification and information regarding the activity that will take place.

Immigration officials shall not be permitted to enter campus.

Law enforcement officers shall not be required to request permission to access campus in case of an emergency.  Emergencies include, but are not limited to:

  • Pursuit of a suspect onto campus
  • Fires
  • Bomb threats
  • Fight in progress
  • SWAT Team situations

Law enforcement officers shall be escorted while on school campuses by the principal’s designee.  Law enforcement officers shall do everything in their power to not disturb the educational process of students and staff while on an Albuquerque Public School campus.

Law enforcement agencies may use schools for training outside of the instructional day upon approval from the chief of Albuquerque Public Schools Police; however, law enforcement agencies shall not be permitted to use district property to stage any law activity occurring in the community.

Requests for Student Information

A law enforcement officer may request student information, which shall be limited to student name, address and parental contact information, only from Albuquerque Public Schools Police.    In the case of health or safety emergency, the principal may release additional student information to the law enforcement officer but only if that information is needed to resolve the emergency.

Student records shall not be released to law enforcement agencies unless that release meets the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act as follows:

  • The district and law enforcement officer has received written permission from a minor student’s parent/legal guardian or from an adult student;
  • The student record is requested pursuant to a court order or subpoena;
  • The student record is needed in the case of a medical or safety emergency;
  • The student record is needed to better serve the student in the juvenile justice system prior to adjudication

Student Assessments

 

Albuquerque Public Schools, at the direction of the principal or Albuquerque Public Schools Police, shall assess a student who may be involved in criminal or dangerous activity or has been charged with a crime.  This assessment shall evaluate, at a minimum:

  • If the student sought may reasonably present a danger to himself/herself or others
  • If the student needs additional district or contracted services;
  • If the student would likely significantly disrupt the school environment/educational process;
  • If the student is not on campus would the student be likely to significantly disrupt the school environment/educational process by returning to the school.

Principals and Albuquerque Public Schools Police shall work with appropriate district departments when identifying students who may need assessment.  These departments include, but are not limited to, Albuquerque Public Schools Police, Health and Wellness and Special Education.

Upon conclusion of the assessment, the district may require the student be placed in an alternative program or receive additional services for the safety of the student and others.

Any assessments performed on special education students and the recommended action resulting from the assessment shall be done in conjuncture with the student’s IEP team and shall meet all requirements of the student’s IEP or 504 plan.

Student Interviews and Interrogations

Albuquerque Public Schools Police may interview students on school campus.  This interview shall not be an interrogation.  Albuquerque Public Schools shall make a good faith effort to notify the parent/legal guardian of any interrogation by law enforcement of their student as long as that contact does not violate a confidentiality agreement or jeopardize the safety or protection of the student.

Interviews may lead to interrogations in extenuating circumstances.  While the district encourages interviews of students conducted by outside law enforcement officers be conducted off school premises, the principal, in consultation with Albuquerque Public Schools Police, may permit a law enforcement officer to conduct any necessary questioning at school when:

  • Alleged child abuse or neglect is involved;
  • The district is involved as a victim;
  • The Albuquerque Public Schools Police Department is conducting its own related investigation and conducting the interview;
  • The interview relates to a violent felony charge; or
  • The investigation may be seriously jeopardized by further delay, also known as exigent circumstances.

District personnel shall cooperate with and assist a law enforcement officer who has been granted permission by the principal and Albuquerque Public Schools Police while he/she is conducting an  interrogations.

Though there is no law that requires law enforcement to notify a parent/legal guardian if a student is interrogated, it shall be the practice of Albuquerque Public Schools to make a good faith effort to notify the parent/legal guardian of any interrogation by law enforcement of their student as long as that contact does not violate a confidentiality agreement or jeopardize the safety or protection of the student.  Upon request of a parent/legal guardian law enforcement officers may postpone an interrogation until such a time as agreed to by the parent/legal guardian.

Prior to commencing the interview, the law enforcement officer shall determine whether the student wishes a third party to be present for the interview and, if so, shall make reasonable efforts to accommodate the student’s wishes.

The law enforcement officer shall advise and afford a student the same legal rights as an adult and the right to have a parent/legal guardian present during questioning if the student is twelve years of age or younger.

Student Arrests

 

A law enforcement officer is not required to have a warrant in order for the school to release the student into law enforcement custody. In the event a student is taken into custody, Albuquerque Public Schools Police shall immediately make a good faith effort to notify the parent/legal guardian unless directed not to do so by the law enforcement officer.

Immigrant Students and Immigration Officials

Albuquerque Public Schools shall be a safe haven for students regardless of their citizenship status.

Albuquerque Public Schools prohibits any communication to an immigration agency or official initiated by a school or district personnel concerning any student in reference to his/her real or perceived immigration status.

Any order or directive by immigration officials or local law enforcement officials to any district personnel to bring forth a student for interrogation on their immigration status or to provide any information about a student that may reveal the student’s citizenship or immigration status shall be denied and related immediately to the school principal and Albuquerque Public Schools Police . The school principal and Albuquerque Public Schools Police shall then determine, after consulting with Albuquerque Public Schools legal counsel and the superintendent or his/her designee whether such a request should be granted.

Any request by immigration officials for consent to enter a school to search for information or to seize students shall be initially denied and immediately conveyed to the school principal and Albuquerque Public Schools Police who shall then determine, after consulting with Albuquerque Public Schools legal counsel and the superintendent or his/her designee whether such a request should be granted.

If a request to access campus is granted, immigration officials shall be supervised by the principal, or his/her designee, while on an Albuquerque Public School campus.

Should an immigrant parent/legal guardian or student, for whatever reason, voluntarily offer a document generated by the Department of Homeland Security or the Department of Justice – such as a passport, resident alien card, or I-94 – for identification purposes, the school shall take special care to refrain from recording:

  • any personal information from the document;
  • information concerning the type of document submitted;
  • that a document generated by the Department of Homeland Security or Department of Justice was submitted.
  • The school shall only record that personal identification was presented.

Should a school or district personnel, for whatever reason, come across information regarding the immigration status of an immigrant student or his/her parents/legal guardians, such information shall not to be provided to any outside agency, including any federal immigration agency. The disclosure of such information could potentially jeopardize the rights of immigrant students to attend public school and, absent permission from a student’s parents/legal guardian to disclose such information, could result in a violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Schools and district personnel shall take immediate action to remove any information regarding the immigration status of a student or a student’s parents/legal guardians from any and all school records.

Administrative Position: Chief Operations Officer

Department Director: Albuquerque Public Schools Police Chief

References:

Legal Cross Ref.:

Board Policy Cross Ref.:

Procedural Directive Cross Ref.:

NSBA/NEPN Classification: JIH

Introduced: October 15, 2010
Reviewed: November 8, 2010
Approved: November 12, 2010

Review the May 1997 version of this procedural directive >>

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