The Timnath Town Council voted unanimously Aug. 12 to approve the addition of a second school resource officer for the town’s schools.
SROs are certified police officers based at district schools. As defined by the Poudre School District website, the goals of the SRO program are to provide a safe learning environment and help reduce school violence, improve school law enforcement and improve perceptions and relations between students, staff and law enforcement officials.
The SRO Supervisor in Larimer County is Sgt. Michael Rairdon. He and Timnath Police Chief Sherri Wagner work together on school-visit scheduling and other SRO matters within Timnath’s jurisdiction.
At the meeting, Chief Wagner presented information about the potential benefits of adding a second SRO. She pointed out that the current SRO, Deputy Nancy Remington, divides her time between 10 unincorporated Larimer County schools in the Poudre School District. This limits her visits to just once per quarter, per school. The addition of another SRO would increase the frequency of interaction with elementary students at Timnath Elementary and Bethke Elementary to twice per month.
PSD would cover half of the SRO’s salary, benefits, vehicle and its expenses. The other half would be divided between Timnath and Wellington, the two towns using the SRO’s services. Wellington would pay 75 percent of the remaining half, while Timnath’s 25 percent share would be $4,758, an amount currently not budgeted for.
Wellington’s portion is higher because their schools would continue using the SRO over the summer, while Timnath schools would do so only during regular school months. The financial split is based on that difference and the number of schools in each town.
Chief Wagner explained to Timnath News that the long-standing SRO program has won over children, who get to know their SRO from kindergarten forward. She said students learn to trust their SRO in matters ranging from stranger danger to child abuse to anger management and more. This bond benefits not only the children, but the schools and greater community.
Timnath town manager April Getchius said the new, fully-trained SRO will be in place this fall.