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JPA

Nearly 100 community leaders gathered Thursday for the official announcement of a proposed joint public agency to support community learning centers, mental health services and school resource officers.

MARGARET REIST, Journal Star

The media have been giving a lot of attention to the joint public agency school security proposal, which involves hiring new police officers, resource officers, an administrator, a threat assessment officer and a social worker, plus increased mental health services and after school programs.

This sure raises a lot of questions.

How does all this get paid for? You can create a JPA or some other funding mechanism, but it is still taxpayer dollars. Is this sustainable when the economy cools down? Remember, resource officers got cut before. Revenue neutrality has been a selling point, but the city and Lincoln Public Schools will not promise to maintain that in the future.

Have any of our elected officials checked around to see how other schools are addressing security? Are they spending millions?

No one can predict where or when an attack may occur. Perhaps LPS should start by getting the kids off the outdoor playgrounds, practice fields and ball diamonds. Talk about a security nightmare!

If LPS has problems with school security, then LPS should fund the solution. Apparently awash in tax dollars, LPS could use some of its $32 million in additional revenue (LJS April 4th). Let’s not forget the $18 million in windfall that LPS got last year. Has LPS even thought about contracting with a private security firm?

Contrary to the feelgood rhetoric, this proposal is not going to keep all the kids safe all the time, nor is it logical to think that taxpayers can afford to put enough badges out there to accomplish this.

Don’t jump into a JPA proposal that will keep some of the kids safe some of the time at a cost of millions before doing the homework.

Jay Edmiston, Lincoln

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