In light of the recent article in the North Forty News discussing government transparency and school safety, I would like to take this opportunity to let the citizens of Wellington know where the town stands in regard to weighing out options for both the town police force and a School Resource Officer (SRO) for our three Wellington schools.
In May of last year, the Town Board was presented with the Wellington Police Department Research and Proposal. Since that time many discussions have come up in regard to the matter. The presentation that was brought forth by the proposal team focused on two main issues; locally controlled 24/7 law enforcement in our community and a School Resource Officer (SRO) dedicated to our Wellington schools.
As was mentioned in the North Forty News article, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office SRO (deputy) covers 8 to 10 schools across the entire county. Currently, the SRO deputy is responsible for our three schools, the two CLP schools, the mountain schools and the school in Timnath.
The Town Board is still considering its options, and we recently received four proposals from law enforcement consulting firms to look into the matter further and help us weigh our options. We will be deciding on a firm to move forward with in the next week or so. The consulting firm will conduct and independent and objective analysis of our law enforcement contract with the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office and an analysis for a full-time, town police department.
We recently renewed our contract with the Sheriff’s Office for the 2014 year for roughly $630,000. In December, after much discussion, a meeting between the Town, the Sheriff’s Office, the Town of Timnath and the Poudre School District was hosted to discuss adding an additional deputy to cover just the schools in Wellington and Timnath. The idea would be to split up costs between the Town of Wellington, the Town of Timnath and Poudre R1. It is our hope that this Wellington/Timnath deputy would be at our schools more frequently. These costs to the town would be in addition to what we already pay the Sheriff’s Office for the hourly service contract.
We will be considering the additional SRO deputy at an upcoming Town Board meeting, and we expect to go under contract with a law enforcement consulting firm in the very near future. The Town Board intends on considering all options as we move forward to enhance the safety of our growing Town. We will find the best and most transparent ways to protect our children here in Wellington.