Newton Police Chief Jim Daily was pleased to hear Newton schools will likely keep their school resource officer program going at the schools.


Newton Police Chief Jim Daily was pleased to hear Newton schools will likely keep their school resource officer program going at the schools.

Faced with possible cuts from the state, the Newton school board has been wrestling with various possibilities that might happen as a result of cuts. They do not know what they will be getting from the state but are preparing by discussing cuts that might happen.

They discussed cutting the school resource officer at the elementary schools, but at the last meeting, the board reached a consensus to not make that cut. Nothing has been voted on yet concerning the budget at the schools.

Superintendent Gary Jantz told the board the money for next year’s SRO officer at the elementary schools could come from the current year’s budget.
School resource officers are police officers who stay at the school and interact with students. They are there if needed as a police officer, but they also are there to help educate students.

Currently, there are three school resource officers in the Newton school district — one for the high school (Chad Gay), one for the middle schools (Randy Jordan) and one for the elementary schools (Jeff Davis).

Daily believes the SROs serve as a deterrent to crime, not only by students but also by angry parents who come to the schools.

But their greater value is the relationships they develop with the students. Daily believes that can pay off in the future as students develop a basically positive attitude toward law enforcement officers.

At the high school they put on safety programs and bring in speakers.
Daily said this is particularly important at the elementary school level.

"Students that age need a good role model. They are impressionable at that age. It is vital at the elementary level," he said.

The officers build rapport with the students. Sometimes the students give the officers tips about things that are going on, whether at school or not.

Sometimes officers are also able to spot neglect or abuse and can help children get out of bad situations.

"The kids know the officers. It is one more person they can go to if they have a need," Daily said.

At present the schools and city split the cost of the