Humboldt considers adding officer in school

HUMBOLDT — A Humboldt police officer may someday be assigned to work in the local public schools.

City Administrator Travis Goedken told the City Council Monday that he was contacted by Humboldt Community School District Superintendent Greg Darling about the possibility of a school resource officer.

The topic had been discussed at a recent school board meeting.

“They tend to be housed inside the school district, but they are a member of the city Police Department,” Goedken said. “The school board would like to pursue some kind of joint operation with the city to hire a school resource officer.”

“We will bring back more details later,” he said.

A federal grant is available to pay 75 percent of the cost of a school resource officer for three years.

“One of the things about a school resource officer that I really want to drive home to is it would be a sworn officer with full law enforcement capability,” Goedken said. “The main reason for hiring a school resource officer is to build that relationship with the students. It is called community policing. You develop a relationship with them to have preventative measures, basically to prevent what we saw in Florida last week or other issues that might arrive.”

In Fort Dodge, two city police officers serve as school resource officers in the Fort Dodge Community School District.

“We wanted to emphasize that it is not because of any one thing that has happened in our school system, we just want to be proactive,” Humboldt Mayor Dan Scholl said.

The city could also utilize the officer, especially during the summer when school is not in session. Code enforcement would be their main responsibility during that time. The person would be a city employee.

The council considered a resolution with the school board eight years ago to pursue the grant application, but it was filed and never approved.