To the Editor: Opposition to Perrysburg SRO position questioned
Written by Paul Dobson   
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 10:09
I applaud the recognition by Mayor Nelson Evans, Mayor-elect Mike Olmstead and Perrysburg City Councilmen Tim McCarthy, Tom Mackin and John Kevern of the importance of finally putting a School Resource Officer back in Wood County's largest school district ("Perrysburg Debates SRO Job," Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune, December 4, 2013). Superintendent Tom Hosler and I have spoken on this subject many times and I have always offered my wholehearted support of the idea. In fact, I challenge those council members who either oppose or question the concept to explain to the parents of the 4000-plus students attending the school district why a debate is necessary. Why, when the nation is considering arming teachers and janitors, there is a question over putting a trained law enforcement agent in the schools. Why, when there is a growing misunderstanding, engendered by the entertainment media, between our youth and law enforcement, a councilman "could go on for 20 more minutes" with reasons to not be part of the solution. Even more concerning is his issue with the fact that the program may be "successful."
The Wood County Sheriff has found room in his budget to supply SROs for three school districts. In fact, of the 11 public school districts with high schools in Wood County, seven have SROs, and one has an officer, not specifically identified as an SRO, assigned full time and with an office in the schools.  Apparently, like Chief Paez, other police chiefs and councils have seen the value in the work of an SRO. It seems they are not concerned with the effect of success on their programs.
We politicians are constantly criticized for our ability to endlessly debate simple issues and delay action. This is a simple decision. I call on the city council to be bold. This was brought to you in October. It is now December. It is impossible to understand why you cannot afford less than a third of an officer's salary to serve and protect the students.
Paul Dobson
Wood County Prosecuting Attorney

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