East Grand Board hears SRO update
Students and staff of the East Grand School District have welcomed a number of new faces to the hallways in Granby this year including new School Resource Officer Craig Parten of the Granby Police.
On Tuesday night officer Parten and Granby’s Chief of Police Jim Kraker addressed the East Grand Board of Education to update the Board on the district’s recently instated SRO program. Chief Kraker began by pointing out the unique position SRO’s hold and that officer Parten was specifically selected for the position because of his extensive experience as an SRO.
He went on to review a basic outline of the district and department vision for the SRO program, breaking down the position’s three main roles: law enforcement, education, and informal counseling.
Officer Parten has set about instituting basic safety checks around the schools, helping to address truancy issues, and establishing a parking pass system for staff, soon to include students.
Under officer Parten’s educational role as an SRO East Grand will be instituting an Alive at 25 program and and working with juvenile services. He is also working with the district’s newly minted alternative education program with plans to conduct a mock trial this year.
Kraker also described the SRO role as one of an informal counselor.
“A large proportion of his time has been placed in relationship building,” Kraker said. “It is about solving problems. They have embraced Craig.”
The program was initially envisioned as being specifically for East Grand Middle School and Middle Park High but since the start of the school officials from Granby Elementary have requested the SRO spend some time in that building as well. The process keeps officer Parten moving throughout the various schools over the course of the day.
Kraker said part of the process of starting an SRO program is about, “finding balance” and “knowing how to use the position, and how to back off”.
“So far, not everything we encounter is a police (issue),” Kraker said. “Since Craig is there we are dealing with it in informal ways, to deal with problems without generating a police report. We are finding where that scale tips. Craig is the right guy for the job.”
Officer Parten thanked the Board and noted he is settling into his new position nicely.
In other school board news Superintendent Frank Reeves updated the board on the district’s BEST grant application. The BEST grant program was set up by the state in 2008 and provides funding for school construction and renovation. East Grand hopes to have district facilities audited by the state in the near future in preparation for a potential grant. The district’s grant application is due in February.
The BEST grant is a match grant program wherein district put up funds of their own, and the state gives a certain percentage based on the cost of the proposed project. In essence the district would receive a percentage discount on an approved BEST grant project, at least 31 percent, depending on the overall project load.
Superintendent Reeves solicited project suggestions but said roofing and security were the first two things that jumped to his mind.
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