Lincoln County explores establishing school resource officer position within sheriff’s office
NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - At this week’s Lincoln County Commissioners meeting, local law enforcement and Lincoln County educators approached commissioners on the possibility of establishing a school resource officer position within the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.
Sergeant Derek Hanna has been with the department since 2011 and since 2016 has served as the county’s School Safety Liaison.
“Every time we meet with school officials, they always ask about how we can implement school resource officers. North Platte High School has them and they kind of want to go off that model. So, for at least five years we’ve been trying to figure out how to work that into our agency,” said Sergeant Hanna.
Sergeant Hanna adds that Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputies respond to schools in the county for a number of reasons.
“We encounter everything from a mental health crisis, threats towards schools, child abuse, neglect situations, theft within the schools; we’ve even had to stand as security as administration part ways with staff,” said Sergeant Hanna.
Sergeant Hanna stresses that having a school resource officer in the building can often make students think twice about making some questionable decisions.
”School resource officers are a huge deterrent. There will be a marked patrol vehicle sitting outside the school, people will know that there is an officer in the school plus the kids will see that officer in the school every day and might think twice about getting physical with another student,“ said Sergeant Hanna.
Lincoln County has been awarded a federal grant to aid in the process of establishing school resource officers and following this week’s Lincoln County Commissioners meeting, a task force was established to further brainstorm the establishment of school resource officers in Lincoln County.
“We are keeping the conversation open, we have until Dec. 16 to formally accept or deny the funds, and it is a process of trying to figure out all the details and this funding and figuring out if it will work for area schools the sheriff’s office and the taxpayers of Lincoln County,” Sergeant Hanna said.
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