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South Tama schools resource officer post on hold pending review

December 22, 2018
By Allison Graham and John Speer - The News-Herald ( - , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

A decision on a member of the Tama Police Force to act in a new, joint position as the South Tama school resource officer during months school is in session and for regular police duties during some of the summer months is on hold for the time being.

Both the Tama City Council and the STC School Board took up the proposal at their respective meetings on Monday night, Dec. 17.

The Tama council tabled the proposal. Mayor Mike Carnahan explained some questions have come up and points of clarification need to be made with the school district. No date as to when this will come before the council again was offered.

Meanwhile, the school board approved the position on a 3-0 voice vote.

Under an agreement Superintendent Jared Smith said had been worked out with Tama officials, the board approved paying entirely for the first four months of duty. The period would be expected to begin in March, 2019, for the remainder of the school term at total cost of about $20,000.

The governmental 28E sharing agreement with the district and City of Tama will then call for Tama to pay for 75 percent of the cost of the officer and the school district to cover the remainder.

"It's becoming more and more common," STC Superintendent Jared Smith told the councils at a joint meeting with the Tama Council on Nov. 26.

School board member Alan Kline brought up one question which may be an issue: whether the officer would be armed on school property.

According to a document released by South Tama County schools, the purpose of a School Resource Officer would be to promote a safe and healthy school environment for students, staff, faculty as well as foster positive relationships between the school district and the community. Furthermore, the SRO would provide support to school administration and staff by being visible in all school buildings as well as assist schools in developing plans and strategies to prevent unsafe situations.



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