Rockland council agrees to apply for grant for officer in schools

By Stephen Betts | May 15, 2018
Photo by: Stephen Betts From left, Oceanside High School Assistant Principal Jesse Bartke, Rockland Police Chief Bruce Boucher, Knox County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Tim Carroll and Rockland Deputy Police Chief Christopher Young meet March 1 with the Regional School Unit 13 Board about the possibility of having police officers in the schools. The Board voted April 5 to move ahead with the proposal.

Rockland — The Rockland City Council voted unanimously Monday night, May 14, to apply for a federal grant to help pay for an officer to be in the schools.

Rockland Police Chief Bruce Boucher said he does not expect the U.S. Department of Justice will announce who will get the competitive grants until later in the summer.

An officer will likely not be in the schools until January 2019, the chief said. He said there will be a lot of work to do once the city knows if it will receive the $125,000 grant being sought for the school resource officer.

The city and Regional School Unit 13 will have to negotiate an agreement, the school board will need to develop a policy, and the officer selected by Rockland will have to go through a nationally recognized school resource officer training course.

The school board gave its support to the school resource officer proposal at its April 5 meeting on a 6-2 vote.

There was no debate at the council's May 14 meeting on the grant application.

The Rockland officer would serve at Oceanside High School as well as the South School. Superintendent John McDonald said he would work with the Knox County Sheriff's Office to try to get officers in all the district schools.


Comments (2)
Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | May 17, 2018 08:44

I have several questions.  First why is this Rockland's responsibility ?  This is a regional school district.  Why would school security not be included in the "school Budget" ?  The state just awarded the district another $850,000 and the board managed to spend that and another million on top.  Applying for a federal grant along with several other schools ?  better chance of winning the lottery and no guarantees that money will be back.  Can't believe no-one on the council even questioned this decision.

Posted by: Dale Hayward | May 15, 2018 20:20

Will the cost be forever covered by a grant or will it fall on the taxpayers eventually?  (Not that a grant is not tax money)

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