"Councilor Cyndi Lamm's support for School Resource Officers is commendable, but her plan fails to fund key preventive strategies that will better protect our children. We need more than good intentions," said Mayor Chris Beutler in responding to Councilwoman Lamm's press release issued this morning.
"School resource officers are only part of the answer to make our schools safe. Increased funding for mental health services could help us identity troubled kids and get them the help they need before a tragedy occurs.
"Our plan includes a threat assessment police officer whose job will be to investigate internet threats and other signs of potential violence. Our Police Chief feels this is a critical element in preventing school violence. Lamm's plan does not include a threat assessment officer.
"Community Learning Centers (CLC) are about keeping kids engaged in positive educational and recreational activities during non-school hours, when they are most at risk for juvenile crime and experimentation with drugs and alcohol. Additional funding for CLCs puts caring adults in the lives of more of our children.
"Our plan not only puts more School Resource Officers in more schools, but gives them the tools they need to keep kids safe. Lamm's plan doesn't fund mental health or additional CLC needs and will fall short of our goal of providing safer school environments for kids," Beutler said.
Mayor Beutler believes a Joint Public Agency (JPA) is a better solution than the interlocal agreement suggested by Lamm.
"An interlocal agreement doesn't protect the money for school safety. It can be moved to other government needs. A JPA protects that funding and ensures that it remains with the community's highest priority: the safety of our kids.
"The Safe and Secure Kids JPA is a comprehensive solution that provides the most protection for our children. It is the right answer for increasing school safety," Beutler concluded.