Friday, December 23, 2011

PART 2 - Safety/Security Services in Lake Orion Schools

The Orion Township Board of Trustees approval of funding to maintain the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department Police Liaison Officer in the Lake Orion Community Schools through December 31, 2012 ensures that the School District will continue to have an Officer in the District who can provide, among other services, full arresting authority, if needed.

And, because this in now in place, the District no longer needs to pursue the request to the Orion Township Board for a Mutual Aid Agreement to give such arresting authority to the Lake Orion Village Police Department.

On the other hand, the absence of a Mutual Aid Agreement does not eliminate the ability of the Village Police to work with the Sheriff's Department and the District to provide other kinds of safety/security programs and services to our schools regardless where the school is located, although with some restrictions.

In a very productive meeting with representatives from both law enforcement agencies, the discussion focused on working together to identify the services each law enforcement agency can provide in our schools to expand the current programs in place and to ensure the safety of all of our students. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Safety/Security Services in Lake Orion Schools

A huge thank you to the Orion Township Board of Trustees for authorizing the funding to maintain the Police Liaison from the Oakland County Sheriff's Department in our School District through December 31, 2012!

Because of the loss of State Aid Funding for the 2011-12 school year and the increase in the required expenditure for the Michigan Public Schools Employees Retirement System, the District was forced to reduce close to $4.5 million to present a balanced 2011-12 budget. One of these reductions was the Liaison position from January through June 2012.

Now that the Township Board has provided a short-term solution by funding our current Officer from the Sheriff's Department, we have some "breathing room" to explore all possible options for long-term, affordable safety/security services for our schools.

With close to 8000 students in our schools, one Officer is not enough. As a result, in addition to the possibility of added services from the Oakland County Sheriff's Department, we have been exploring options available from the Lake Orion Village Police. However, expanding security measures to include the Village Police Department requires that the Township Board grant them limited policing authority in the nine of our eleven schools that are not in the Village jurisdiction.

Unexpectedly, this has become somewhat of a "sticky wicket" (sticky wicket - a metaphor used to describe a difficult circumstance) as some may have noticed if tuning in to recent Township Board meetings or reading articles in the Lake Orion Review or posts on various Facebook pages.

The School District's goal has always been to utilize all potential safety/security resources available to ensure the safety of our students. This can only happen if we work together with the same intent and I remain optimistic that with continued discussions we will reach this goal.