September 15, 2023 at 11:36 a.m.
North Branch and Chisago Lakes resource officers to remain in schools
If there was any doubt in the community about the status of a school resource officer in local schools, there should not be any longer.
Lakes Area Chief of Police Bill Schlumbohm stated he has no plans to pull the officer out of schools in Chisago Lakes. And, the North Branch School Board also heard from Chief Dan Meyer and the School Resource Officer Mike Nelson. They said there is no confusion regarding the SRO program here; and the department has fully re-implemented it this school year with city, and district support.
A language addition to the state law, that governs what an officer can and can’t do in school situations, was something of a surprise to public safety agencies when it became effective on August 1. The wording has been blamed for causing withdrawal of almost 40 SRO personnel statewide.
North Branch District Superintendent Sara Paul stated the district is fortunate to have the police and city saying “we’re with you" to the district when it comes to the SRO program. Supt. Paul said Officer Nelson is a “trusted adult” who has fit into the school culture and created benefits, seen and unseen.
Chief Meyer commented to the School Board that he “can’t say enough about your administration team” that works with him on law enforcement activity. Board Chair Tim MacMillan added that he was thankful for the North Branch Police Department's commitment and everybody being dedicated to providing a safe school environment.