Last week Tuesday at the council's committee of the whole, aldermen
heard about a proposed joint venture between the high school and the
city to provide a school resource officer.
The position, according
to police Chief Ken Greenslate would be a full-time position for an
officer to be stationed at the high school.
Aldermen received copies of a contractual agreement between the
city and school. Among the details in the agreement was the Mission
The mission of the SRO program is the reduction and prevention of
the school related violence and crime committed by juveniles and
young adults. This is accomplished by assigning a Lincoln Police
Officer as a SRO to Lincoln Community High School on a permanent
basis. The SRO program accomplishes this mission by creating and
maintaining, safe, secure, and orderly learning environments for
students, teachers and staff. The SRO will establish trusting
channels of communication with students, parents and teachers. The
SRO will serve as a positive role model to instill in students good
moral standards, good judgment, respect for other students and a
sincere concern for the school community. The SRO will promote
citizen awareness of the law to enable students to become better
informed and effective citizens, empowering students with the
knowledge of law enforcement efforts and obligation regarding
enforcement as well as consequences for violations of the law.
Greenslate told the council that the police presence in the
school would be a great step toward protecting the student
population from acts of violence. The position will also incorporate
opportunities for the assigned officer to speak to classes as well
as with students on a one-on-one basis.
At the school, the contract calls for the officer to be provided
with a private office with seating space for four people, access to
Internet and telephone, and space for files or records.
The officer will be expected to speak about law
enforcement-related topics with students in the classroom under the
supervision of a certified teacher. This may include discussions on
use of narcotics, safety, public relations and occupational
The officer would also be the coordinator for any police
investigations on campus and would have the authority to take law
enforcement action on criminal matters.
[to top of second column]
Greenslate said for the city, this would mean hiring another
officer. The position calls for the person assigned to be a
non-probationary officer, one who has been with the department for
more than one year.
The assignment will create a gap in the current police force that
will also need to be filled.
Greenslate was asked how the officer would be paid, and he
explained that the city and high school would share that payroll
expense. On days when there is no school, such as workshops or
holiday breaks, the officer would be assigned to the city department
if needed to get his full-time hours.
During the summer months when school is not in session, the
officer would also be reassigned back to the department. Greenslate
said that when appointed, the officer will be instructed to plan
vacation days for when school is not in session.
Asked if there was money in the budget for a new hire, Greenslate
said that there was.
Marty Neitzel asked if the shared cost between the high school
and the city included benefits. Greenslate said that it did not; the
city would bear all that cost.
Jonie Tibbs commented, saying she thought they owed it to the
community to provide a safer environment for its children.
Greenslate agreed, saying, that it is important to have a police
presence where the people are, and that the high school is one of
the primary places in the city where there are large numbers of
people gathered in one place.
Greenslate was also asked if the high school had already approved
the contract. Greenslate said they had not, but he believed they
would in the near future.
The vote is on both the high school and the city agendas for
[By NILA SMITH]