Coeur d'Alene Schools Boost Security Presence

By Tom Bacon

In a bid to beef up school security, Coeur d'Alene government and school leaders are pooling resources to hire new school resource officers. The Coeur d' Alene school district will ante up about $126,000 beginning next fall to hire a new police officer and equip him or her with a new car.

Additionally, the Kootenai County sheriff's office will hire a new deputy to roam schools outside the Coeur d'Alene city limits - Atlas, Hayden Meadows and Dalton elementary schools, and the Hayden Kinder Center. The school district will pay $51,000 under that agreement for a new car for the officer, and will split the cost of a deputy's salary with the City of Hayden.

The new agreement is the first time the sheriff's office has taken part in a school resource officer program. Money for additional officers comes from a one-million dollar security levy approved earlier this year by school district voters. Coeur d'Alene police sergeant Christie Wood said the new city officer hired under the program  will likely be assigned to street patrol and a more experienced officer would be shifted over to provide school security.

Although the new position won't be funded until next fall, the city may use unspent training funds to hire an officer immediately. The school resource officer program has been running since 1995 in Coeur d'Alene schools. The current roster of six police officers will be expanded to eight under the new funding agreements.
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