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Police officer considered for Platteville schools
Police chief: ‘Very much overdue’
Platteville High School sign

The Platteville School District is going to pursue working with the City of Platteville for a police officer to serve the school district.

The Community Resource Officer would be hired by the Police Department but paid for by the school district through its Community Service Fund property tax levy on an annual contract.

Superintendent Jim Boebel said the officer would be “not a security guard,” describing the officer instead as providing “police work, educating our students, and provide services to the community. They are not there for classroom management.”

The original job description includes “providing and establishing meaningful relationships with all community students” and “the Platteville community.”

Police Chief Doug McKinley said he had proposed a school officer to previous superintendents Dean Isaacson and Connie Valenza. Boebel had a school officer at his previous employer, the Adams–Friendship School District.

McKinley called the position “very much overdue. … I think a lot of visits [by police now to schools] could be headed off if there was that kind of relationship.”

“We have struggled for a long time as a district with that gap between what happens at the school and at home,” said school board member Josh Grabandt, who is a Platteville police sergeant. “This is proactive; this is another tool that we can use.”

“We have an opportunity to provide one thing they don’t have — salary for the position,” said school board member Curt Timlin. “The city’s getting a police officer for essentially the cost of benefits.”

Boebel said the police position is not “reducing our programming whatsoever,” and “still won’t spike up our mil rate.”

McKinley said the officer would be in the schools except in cases of “dire emergency” in the city, such as an officer-needs-help call.

Because the position would be paid for by property taxes, Boebel said the officer could also interact with homeschooled students who live in the school district.

McKinley said his preference would be to assign a current police officer to the position and then hire the officer’s replacement.