By John Raffel
ALLEGAN – Allegan County Commission chairman Jim Storey praised the addition of school resource officers in local school buildings.
“The safety of kindergarten through 12th grade students and the staff surrounding them is the goal of school resource officers such as Allegan County Deputy Joe Knapp, who is assigned to the Hamilton school district,” Storey said. “A veteran of the sheriff’s department in various roles, Deputy Knapp became Hamilton school’s resource officer last year.
Other school districts also work with county police agencies to provide an extra measure of protection against violent acts by disturbed individuals. In some cases, it is the local police department, such as in Otsego.
“Funding for the officers is jointly shared by the county or city and the school district. County emergency services sponsored a school safety summit last November and in prior years emergency exercises focused on school incidents.”
Meanwhile, Storey pointed out on days when circuit and district courts are holding jury trials, parking at the county building becomes challenging.
“Despite making more spaces available with the demolition of the former jail and sheriff’s office, this week a jury trial filled the lot, which is not unusual,” Storey said. “The benefits of moving administrative offices from this building to the county services building at the county’s Dumont Lake campus will be easier access to services such as marriage and dog licenses, birth certificates and property records.”