Officer back to school

October 2009 Posted in News

By Kristine Thomas

Mt. Angel Police Chief Brent Earhart is grateful for the “investment” the Mt. Angel City Council and Mt. Angel School Board has made in the community by reinstating the position of the school resource officer. The position had been eliminated by the city council when it adopted its 2009-10 budget.

On Sept. 8, the city council voted 4-1 with Kelly Grassman dissenting to pay 33.5 percent of the school resource officer’s salary and benefits with the school district picking up the remaining 66.5 percent. Mt. Angel Officer J.J. Lamoreaux will begin his second year as school resource officer this month.

“I believe this is a wonderful investment in our community and our kids,” Earhart said. “The community resource officer is a good resource for our community. J.J. has a way of knowing what’s going on in the community. The kids see him as a role model and both kids and parents see him as someone they can go to for advice.”

Lamoreaux will spend the majority of his day at the high school but will also visit with the students at the middle and elementary school.

Mt. Angel School District Superintendent Bob Young sent a letter to the Mt. Angel City Council on behalf of the Mt. Angel School District Board of Directors to have the school resource officer’s position reinstated in the city’s budget.

Young said the tough economic times make it difficult to decide what to fund and what not to fund. He wrote that the “SRO position benefits the entire community.”

“This past year, the SRO was very effective in reducing criminal activity among school aged kids, not only at school but in the community,” Young wrote in a letter to the city council. “He established a positive relationship with students creating an informal source of information on potential trouble by other kids.”

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