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City approves second SRO

Two officers to work in Waupaca schools

By Angie Landsverk

Capt. John Helgeson

A second school resource officer will be added in the Waupaca School District.

“It’ll be about a two-month hiring process,” Capt. John Helgeson told the common council on Oct. 15.

The council unanimously approved the new SRO position that night.

All members were present.

The hiring process will be followed by a 12-week training program, he said.

“At best, April,” Helgeson said in regard to when the SRO could start working in the schools.

He noted there is interest in the position from within the department.

The school district will pay 75% of the position’s cost, and the city will pay 25%.

The school board voted in favor of it on Oct. 8.

The city’s cost will be about $25,000, according to Kathy Kasza, the city’s finance director/treasurer.

She said the city has funds available for it.

The position will be included in the city’s 2020 budget.

The officer will be part of the city’s patrol during the summer.

Helgeson said that will allow the detective to do more drug work.

There used to be two school resource officers in the community, he said.

“It was supported by a grant. The grant ran out,” Helgeson said.

Zube supports hiring second officer

Officer Wes Zube

Officer Wez Zube spoke about the need for a second officer in the district.

“I can only be in one place at one time,” he said.

It “never fails” that as soon as he walks into one building, there is a problem elsewhere, he said.

Zube is in his third school year as the district’s school resource officer.

He has been a full-time officer with the city of Waupaca for seven years.

When he became the school resource officer, he looked forward to going into classrooms and eating lunch with students.

However, Zube said he has limited time for such positive interactions with students.

He said it is a different world at the high school than when he and City Administrator Aaron Jenson were students there.

“I think the education in the classroom you want to do is so important,” said Ald. Mary Phair.

City Attorney Tom Hart said the court system has seen a drastic decrease in the number of citations prosecuted to juveniles.

“I think it’s due to officer Zube’s intervention,” he said. “I think that’s a good thing.”

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