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Coulee Dam hopes to add police officer to school


Coulee Dam is looking for grant money to hire a school resource officer (SRO).

Should the U.S. Department of Justice grant come through, at least the police officer in the schools would have wheels. The town council approved a budget amendment last Wednesday night for $35,000 to purchase a squad car.

Mayor Greg Wilder, early on as the town’s chief executive officer, said one of his goals was to get a grant to support hiring of a school resource officer.

The grant would provide $238,970 to cover the cost of an SRO for the first three years. The town would have to finance the cost for the remainder of the five-year grant cycle.

“We expect to hear any day if our grant request is successful,” Wilder said Monday.

If the town gets the grant, the successful candidate would have to work his way through the town’s Civil Service Commission. Members are Herb Sherburne, Joe Tynan and town Councilmember Shawn Derrick. And officials would have to work with the school district to determine just what the job description would be.

The town earlier had supplied a school resource officer in Joe Lauseng, who held that position through a grant for five years until 2007.

Wilder sees an SRO as someone who will be available to talk to students, provide some counseling and be helpful in other areas, with details to be worked out.

The grant would essentially cover the cost of having the officer in the department.

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