Police presence aids schools

Cops walking a beat have always had a deterrent effect on crime, and when that beat walking is done in the hallways and parking lots of schools, it can be particularly effective at preventing crime.

Mesa County Sheriff Stan Hilkey made that point when he spoke to the county commissioners about a federal grant that requires matching funds from the county to hire three school-resource officers who were lost to schools in unincorporated parts of the county due to budget cuts in 2010.

Hilkey noted that several times in the past, school-resource officers learned of students who were contemplating bringing guns to school, and the Sheriff’s Department was able to intervene and prevent any violence from occurring.

Having officers in the schools also helps develop relationships between students and law enforcement officers, so they can talk with officers and report problems to them.

Kudos to Hilkey and his staff for not giving up after a federal grant application to reinstate the officers was rejected last year, and to county commissioners for working with their staff to find the matching funds needed to make the grant work.


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