Friday, August 17, 2007

Negotiations concluded

Last month, I reported on the negotiations underway between the City and the Lincoln Public Schools concerning the funding of the 10 Lincoln police officers who serve as school resource officers. The deal has now been struck, and the City will be receiving about $230,000 in revenue to support this program from LPS.

That's a sizeable increase from the $120,000 participation in the current fiscal year, but still shy of the $293,512 the schools paid for fewer SROs back in 2002-2003. Nonetheless, this added revenue, combined with the largess of the City Council, will allow us to bring the department up to our full authorized strength--a very good thing.

An SRO is assigned to each of the six public high schools, and the remaining four officers split the 10 middle schools. Most people at LPD would acknowledge that school resource officers in high schools are vital. We'd be there anyway, and it's just more efficient to assign an officer at each school. Middle schools are different, though, and the workload there is not of the same intensity. This is not to say that resource officers aren't valuable in middle schools. I thought it might be interesting for people so know, from a police standpoint, what goes on at our 10 public middle schools, so here's a chart of the police dispatches last school year. This is only those that occurred during the school day, though. Click the graph to enlarge.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hmm, so if there was an SRO at each middle schools, all of the time, most of those dispatches wouldnot have been necessary. Furthermore, the patrol officer that handled the call would have beeh freed up to handle another problem out on the street. At least that's the way I see it, but what do I know.

Then there is the LEO-Student non-confrontational socialzation and relationship-building that goes on when there is always the same famliar face behind the badge.

Hopefully, "LPS #1" will someday find room in its gargantuan budget to fully fund an SRO for each middle school, perhaps at the cost of yet another redundant Olympic-sized swimming pool. Let's see, reading, writing, arithmetic...swimming...

Tom Casady said...

Not exactly, that chart of "dispatches" includes all the incidents handled by the SROs, which is 62% of the total.

Anonymous said...

I stand corrected! Could we then say that 38% of those dispatches took an Officer off of the street, in order to handle a call at a middle school. A middle school that is run by an agency which already consumes the lion's share of every property tax dollar. Have I got that pretty close?

Tom Casady said...

Yep.

-js- said...

As a "glass half full" type of person, THANKS goes out to LPS for shoring up some of the gap and adding a needed layer of protection for our children.

Its not the whole enchilada but a good step in the right direction.