USC’s liaison officer resigns
The United South Central School Board may be on the lookout for a new police liaison officer.
The current liaison, Rick Herman, submitted his resignation which the board approved during their February meeting.
“He resigned, now we need to discuss how we would like to proceed,” USC superintendent Jerry Jensen said.
Herman had been working under a 100-day contract with the school, the cost of having that service was covered by what is known as the Safe Schools Levy.
“That levy is given by so much per pupil,”?Jensen explains.
For next year, they estimate that the Safe Schools Levy will be $26,488.
“Does the board have a willingness to continue with a position like this?” he asked.
School Board member Jon Feist spoke in favor of having a liaison officer at USC.
“I like the presence of the officer in the school,”?he said. “The presence means something to the students.”
The board members had to discuss a variety of options for filling the spot.
“There has been some interest expressed from the local police department and there may be some interest in working with the Sheriff’s department,”?Jensen said.
Herman, the current liaison, is contracted with the school and is not shared with another department.
Some School Board members feared if an officer was shared it would take away from that presence in the hallways of the school.
“I like the idea of sharing but if we share would that take away from the random scheduling,”?Feist wondered.
Feist thought that if an officer were shared they would be at the school on scheduled days each week, meaning students would know the days there would not be a liaison officer in the school, which could cause issues.
“Could we maybe get proposals (from the local PD and Sheriff’s Department) that allow for that random scheduling?”?Feist asked.
Jensen pointed out that the last two school liaisons have been retired police officers.
“Maybe we could advertise the position to see if anyone like that would be interested,”?he added.
Herman shared a list of some of the duties he performs as a liaison officer with the board. Some of the tasks included truancy issues, criminal activity at the school, random drug checks and assisting the principals with bullying issues.
No action was taken on filling the liaison role. However, the board discussed pursuing the issue and thought it would be best to ask for some proposals.