There are problems with the working relationship between the Baltimore County Public Schools and the police department, according to an audit conducted by the county schools’ office of internal audit.
It comes as there are ongoing concerns about whether county schools are safe for both students and staff.
The report was presented Tuesday afternoon to the audit committee of the Baltimore County School Board.
“Our audit rating for this audit is ‘needs improvement,’” Audit Manager Dwayne Edwards told the committee.
The report spells out seven problems and the corrective actions that need to be taken.
The most serious issue, according to the audit, is that the police department is not quickly reporting to the school system when it has charged a student with a reportable offense.
Edwards told the committee that reportable offenses are student arrests made “not on school grounds or at school-sponsored events.”
According to a memorandum of understanding between the school district and the police department, school leaders should be told within 24 hours of a charge.
Edwards said the school system got a sample of 25 reportable offenses from the police department and found that “21 of these offenses were reported to BCPS between 2 to 240 days after the day of the charge.”
The audit reports that not getting the arrest information quickly means “school administrators cannot take appropriate action, if needed.”
In the report, the police department indicated it has had employee shortages and changes in record management.
The MOU also calls for routine meetings between the police and school officials, including the police chief, the school superintendent, and the chief of school climate and safety.
The audit found those regular meetings are not happening, stating they are needed “to assess the effectiveness of the partnership and identify areas of needs and concerns.”