Friday, December 3, 2010

Perspectives: Policing the Schools [Updated with New Link]

["Police In Schools"; as submitted to You Tube by fpontario;]

As the Kingston City Finance Committee debates whether or not to cut three police officers (school based) from the budget in June 2011, it seems like it would be a good idea to find out how the Parents/Teachers Association feels about this issue; how the school staff and teachers feel about this issue; how parents and custodians feel about this issue; and how the students themselves feel about this issue. 

What does a school based police officer do during the course of his or her day?  In the time period during which police officers have been present at Kingston High School, what problems have required thier intervention and how often do such problems occur?''

Should the school and the police agency share the cost of such officers, as is reputedly going on in the current contract in the Kingston City School District?  Or should the school (or the police department) foot the whole bill?

I would vote for keeping at least two of the officers in the school (actually one as an indoor presense and one as an outdoor presense) --- because I think safety should come first.

My husband would vote for nixing all three --- because he thinks the cuts in the Mayor's proposed 2011 Kingston City Budget are necessary.

Usually?  Somewhere between the sometimes radical differences of opinion that he (my husband) and I have - is the truth.

Maybe the school should pay one-half for the officer inside the school and the City [full pop] for the officer outside the school?

Nix the third?  And/or put the third [I like this idea...] back out on regular duty?

This approach would leave the City responsible for all but half of the indoor officer's pay - but then; it is the City that would be called in should a serious incident occur - and I think that having an officer on site could and quite likely would - in such circumstances - save a lot of money, time and grief.

That said, how do school based police officers intermesh with truant officers, school monitors and such?  Who is responsible for paying the truant officers?

Budget.  Budget.  Budget.

Hub and I sat through a lot of these meetings last year; but have pretty much distanced ourselves this year...

"Our" trends remain the same.

He is a (He is sure to correct me if I have this wrong...) Fiscal Conservative with a liberal bent in regard to other matters.

I am a Liberal, pretty much across the board - with a (he would probably say "neurotic") concern for the safety of our children, our youth and (in general) our City's populus.

Can folks be "over-policed"?  Yes.  I believe they can. 

But I personally don't believe we are "there".

There were multiple concerns in regard to Kingston City High School that have been present at least since the 1980s, when my children were there.

Now I have grandchildren there and/or almost there - and I want someone watching [for whom this is thier exact job description] out for them! 

Budget.  Budget.  Budget.

Nasty time of year, this...

So let me just say, on this issue, that I think all of the folks (as noted above) aught to be consulted on the matter before any decision is made - and that we should know - what exactly have the "in place" police officers been doing (typical day) since they have been stationed at Kingston High...

Just thoughts.  Feel free to send me yours at - and in the meantime - if you have youth attending KHS - why not ask them how safe "they" feel - and what thier thoughts are on this issue?  You could even attend (as could they) the next Finance Committee meeting on this matter; and have a voice...

Always and forever (having a voice...) - whatever one's opinion might be - a good thing!

For more information on this topic, please go to:  "Kingston may cut three cops (video)" - : [written by Paul Kirby]

For Mayor Sottile's perspective, please go to:
"Kingston mayor backs proposed police cuts" - : [written by Paul Kirby]

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