Their children’s safety shouldn’t have to be one of those concerns.
Fortunately, the Cadiz Police Department will continue to offer its services this year of having a “school resource officer” on the Trigg County campus. Police Chief Hollis Alexander said that the new officer, Tim Allen, would be beginning his post on Sept. 5. He couldn’t begin sooner because of issues concerning the retirement from his job at the Kentucky State Penitentiary. He will be replacing Daniel Kostrzebski, who resigned in May after starting that position in January.
Alexander said Allen would be wandering around the entire campus from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. most days, but would be focusing mostly on the high school. He said it is helpful to have an officer on campus for several reasons. For one thing, if there is an incident at the school, there is a faster response time. Also, simply having an officer there makes the environment safer.
“The presence itself curtails a lot of things that might happen,” he said.
The schools started having a school resource officer on campus in 1999 with the help of a Community Policing Oriented Service (COPS) grant from the United States Department of Justice. The grant expired and the schools were without an officer for the 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 school years and the fall of 2005. In December, the City Council agreed to pay 25 percent of the officer’s salary while the Board of Education would pay the other 75 percent.
Superintendent Tim McGinnis said he was pleased that the new officer would be starting soon. He said that when the COPS grant had expired, the Board had been having big budget problems and couldn’t afford to pay an officer’s salary by itself. During that time, though, McGinnis said the city police had an exceptional response time whenever they needed to be called.
“If we had a school resource officer at the elementary school and he had to get to the high school, he probably wouldn’t be there faster than the city police,” he said
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.