While Milford Town Council continues to discuss financing a full-time school resource officer at Milford School (See story), a group of concerned parents have started a petition to show the council there is support for such a petition.
Alicia Ley has been circulating the petition and carries it with her to various events where parents of students would be attending, such as softball games at Milford. The hope is to present the petition at the next town council meeting June 10.
There is a pilot program being looked into with a grant of $10,000 to cover a temporary resource officer from Aug. 15 through Nov. 20 until the town or school board can find ways to permanently fund an officer or gain funds through grants. School officials will be hearing a presentation at the June school board meeting.
Ley noted there had been thoughts of paying various officers to spend set times at the school on a daily basis. However, this would not be one consistent officer who students could develop trust and a rapport with and those officers would not be trained as a school resource officer to handle kids and issues they may have.
She also noted the town needs to take a proactive stand. “We don’t want to be another town on the news saying we didn’t think it would happen here,” Ley said.
Research was presented to the council from the Department of Justice that noted, among the specific responsibilities of the adage, “It takes a village to raise a child,” the responsibility of law enforcement is to develop a school resource program.
She additionally pointed out there have been a number of students expelled from Milford Middle School this year for various reasons and there have been bomb threats. It is her belief that if an officer was at the school, some of these situations could have been detected ahead of any occurrence or problems.
It was also noted research has shown there have been indications earlier in the lives of students who have committed suicide, brought guns to school, made threats. A school resource officer could have been available to talk to the student before anything occurred or a dramatic event took place. “Saving one kid is worth it,” she said.
While there is a school resource officer for Wawasee Community School Corp., that officer splits his time between the corporation and is based at the high school. But the officer also works with other school districts, as well.