School safety topic of meeting with city, county, and school off - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

School safety topic of meeting with city, county, and school officials

School safety topic of meeting with city, county, and school officials

City, county, and school board officials packed into Lincoln Public School's District building Monday morning to discuss school safety.

Members of the newly formed Joint Public Agency, or JPA, presented their plan to add increased security to schools, as well as programs that would provide students with access to mental health resources.

The meeting of all the county officials is only the second of its kind and comes in wake of the Parkland shooting.

"This is one arm of the city wrapping around our kids this is one arm of the district wrapping around our kids and the JPA really this coordinated piece," said Lynn Johnson the Director of Parks and Recreation for Lincoln Public Schools. 

JPA is the plan proposed by the city, Lincoln Public Schools, and the Lincoln Police Department for how to make schools safer.

It would allow for additional school resource officers to be placed in Lincoln schools; however, LPD does not have the current staff to make this happen, so it will take time as new officers have to be hired and trained.

"We believe that we could implement a strategy of six new SRO's in January of 2019," Lincoln Police Chief Jeff Bliemeister said.

Currently school resource officers are only in Lincoln high schools, but if the plan is implemented the new SRO's would be placed in Lincoln middle schools, but adding more officers also means added expenses for the city and taxpayers.

"It costs us about 100,000 dollars a year in Lincoln to put a police officer in the field," said Lincoln Public Safety Director Tom Casady.

JPA has the ability to levy taxes, but the group says they will work to keep your taxes the same.

In addition to the SRO's the agency's $2.1 million dollar budget would expand mental health services for students and add funding for community learning center programs.

"It is preventative and improves the quality of life," Bliemeiester said.

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