4/12/2013 11:00:00 AM Police liaison issue is tabled
by Nora Bryson
After some discussion and a lot of motions, counter-motions and dropped motions, approval of a "liaison police officer joint agreement with the City of Cannon Falls" was tabled by the Cannon Falls School Board Monday night.
Superintendent Beth Giese explained that she has been in negotiations with the city since the Sandy Hook shooting trying to procure an officer to help secure the school. She said she thought they had come to an agreement, since the city admitted they could also use another 0.5 FTE on the force and the school only needed coverage for 174 days of the year.
But the city had come back requesting the district pick $10,000 per year of the expense and commit to thee years (due to time and effort needed to properly recruit and train officers). Giese did not feel the district currently had $10,000 to spare and that the money the district was spending on adding cameras and improving the PA system at the elementary would probably do as much as an officer scattered among three buildings. But, she stated, it was still up to the board.
Board member Pat Dougherty asked the principals what they thought. Elementary Principal Derek Bell and High School Principal Tim Hodges agreed that they would prefer the money be used for keeping more teachers in the classrooms. Board member Rob Siebenaler voiced his skepticism over what could be accomplished through a police presence given the three campuses. Both he and Board member Brenda Owens requested more time before making a decision.
Cannon Falls Police Chief McCormick will be asked to attend the April 22 meeting.