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Chico Police Likely Coming to Work on Chico Unified Campuses

With a grant from ATF, the school board and police department collectively provide 3 school resource officers to help CUSD students in making better choices with it comes to tobacco use - and they're there in case of emergency.

Posted: Jun 20, 2018 3:58 AM
Updated: Jun 20, 2018 2:05 PM

Chico, Calif.-- If you're a Chico Unified family, this Fall you may see new school resource officers around campus.

Tonight the district Board of Trustees will discuss an agreement they've made with the city to fund the positions.

The initial plan was 2 officers, the district pays the salary of one officer and the city provides the other officer.

Then in May, the district applied for a 1.5 million dollar grant through the department of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms that will cover the salary of a third officer for a few years, with the addition next year of another 2 officers as well.

"Having their presence on campus helps the kids understand the rules are important and the police department having access to talk to us about issues are going on we can compare issues and help each other," said CUSD Director of State and Federal programs John Bohannon.

The district actually had security officers up until six years ago - but the position was cut during the budget crisis, and administrators say they made a big difference in deterring crime and gang activity.

"We were very excited - as a school board president - anytime you can increase security on campus, we're all for that, and the tobacco type of grant, where the tax money from tobacco sales is paying for it, we're edited to be using that in a positive way," said School Board President Gary Loustale.

Some are wary of the police presence on campus.

"I don't think that you solve a problem like guns in our communities, in our nation, by adding more guns," said local resident Christina Perske.

But many parent are thrilled.

"Protection is really important to me and I think guns in the right hands is a good thing," said another resident Kristie Debock.

"If anybody's going to have guns it should be trained professionals, though I hate to think we need guns on campus,' said Charlie Snyder.

Tonight's meeting is open so if you have kids in the district and you want a say in the matter, go to the multipurpose room at marsh junior high tonight at 6 p.m.

The board will also talk about new construction at Emma Wilson and next year's budget.

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