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The majority of those responding to this week’s online poll approved of the Police Department’s decision to restore a School Resource Officer position to the campus of Petaluma High School. About 73 percent thought this was a good idea, while 25 percent disapproved. About 1.5 percent weren’t sure.
Similarly, 73 percent favored officer positions being restored to the other major school campuses in town. About 24 percent did not favor this. About 3 percent weren’t sure.
Here were some of the comments.
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“Although having a presence may help reduce the risk of major crimes, I wonder if a police officer is needed. Would a security guard from a private firm be sufficient and possibly more cost-effective long term?”
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“Having an officer assigned to a high school and “feeder” junior high school makes sense. The officer becomes familiar with the issues at each school and is able to address them before they become problems. Also, helps patrol officers stay on their patrol duties rather than respond to the schools where they are not familiar with students or administration. Good call by PPD!”
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“I am totally for gun control, but having been a teacher in both middle and high school, I also know that an officer on a campus is a huge relief for teachers. The presence of a designated officer keeps vandalism down, squelches fights, and helps kids see the police as a positive rather than a negative force, especially when the assigned officer knows the kids, their names, their problems, and serves as a kind of mentor. Problems on campus can be easily taken care of with trained personnel on board.”
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“Lower compensation and benefits for law enforcement in total as a percentage of budgeted revenue, get rid of unions and collective bargaining. All positions should be hired at will (even current employees) to avoid the drag of non-productive hires. At that point hire and fire to get the best overall production from the staff.”
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“Police Department has lost 15 officers to budget cuts over the last few years. Time for City Council to make police staffing a priority and return officers to both high schools and the junior highs.
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School resource officers are a valuable tool for the police to know what is going on in the schools and being able to stop trouble as it is brewing and also respond rapidly if an incident occurs.
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“Smart move !! We have an exploding gang population in Petaluma.”
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“The rapport and trust that develops between the school resource officer and many students results in the prevention of numerous problems on and off campus.”
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“We need a good person with a gun close to our kids.”
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