Carbondale school cop accused of racial profiling; advocacy group wants him gone
A statewide immigrant advocacy group is accusing Carbondale’s school resource officer of racial profiling and intimidation of students and their families.
The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition asked Carbondale Police Chief Gene Schilling to replace School Resource Officer Alvaro Agon, according to the group’s Rocky Mountain Region organizer Brendan Greene.
More than half of Carbondale students are Hispanic, and students in that category have complained about Agon, Greene said. In addition to working in Carbondale’s five public schools, Agon is an Immigration and Customs Enforcement liaison who has participated in home raids of potential undocumented immigrants, according to Greene.
“We had some students who saw ICE at their house, and now they’re terrified to see him at school,” Greene said. “Having an official that’s assigned to the district that’s separating students from their families — we don’t believe he’s the right person for the job.”
Last year’s student body president at Roaring Fork High School, 18-year-old Alex Alvarado, said students with any immigrant background have told him they feel uncomfortable talking to Agon, even if they are U.S. citizens. He said some students have called Agon their “personal stalker” and have seen him waiting outside their homes. Others were uncomfortable with a driver’s license check this spring at Roaring Fork High, where licenses of students and parents were checked on school property. The check was initiated by an administrator who has since left for unrelated reasons, according to School District Assistant Superintendent Brad Ray.
When an assistant principal found out about the checks, he asked the Carbondale Police Department to put a stop to them, which it did, Ray said.
“I have had no complaints from any parents or current students” about Agon, Ray said.
Agon is unavailable this week, according to the Carbondale Police Department.
Police Chief Schilling released a statement Monday that calls the town’s school resource officer program “a model program that is determined to assure student safety within schools” and that the program and Agon “are strongly supported by the school community and the community at large.”
Schilling added that Carbondale is proud of its diversity and that the department will continue to look into any specific complaints about its employees.