Willhite says county officials see the benefits of the position in the schools

    Although the Crookston School District and City of Crookston are already off and running on a partnership for at least the next three years that will employ a School Resource Officer in Crookston Public Schools, the Polk County Board of Commissioners is aware of the benefits an SRO in the schools can provide, and might be willing to help pay for them.

    That’s the word from District 3 Polk County Commissioner Gary Willhite of Crookston, who is attending a meeting today (Thursday) with local and area school administrators and school board members who might be interested in pursuing an SRO position in their schools, and wondering how best the position could be utilized and potentially shared.

    Thursday’s meeting comes on the heels of a discussion a couple weeks ago between Willhite, District 2 Commissioner Warren Strandell of East Grand Forks, Polk County Sheriff Barb Erdman, and the Fertile-Beltrami School District superintendent to see what might be possible.

    “The sheriff is interested in what an SRO position would look like,” Willhite said. “Where that goes I’m not sure. I would think we’d want to establish a job description and then get to work on a financial package.”

    In addition to the Crookston School District, where Don Rasicot is the SRO, the East Grand Forks School District also employs its own SRO.

    Willhite said he thinks SROs are important and he commends the Crookston and East Grand Forks districts for investing in them. “Lots of communities are looking at adding it,” he added.

    With the University of Minnesota Crookston having a law enforcement program, Willhite said an SRO “might be a specialty that could be looked at for offering in the future.”