Ensuring safe schools and neighborhoods SanTan Sun News

Ensuring safe schools and neighborhoods

August 24th, 2018 | by SanTan Sun News
Ensuring safe schools and neighborhoods
Opinion
0

By WILLIAM CRAWFORD

 

As we begin another school year, it is important for us to remember some of the most important and vulnerable citizens of Chandler – our children. As leaders, we have an obligation to do all we can to ensure that our children return home safely every day.

For many of the individuals reading this article, you likely were not concerned with the thought that someone might come to your school and attack you. Unfortunately, that is a reality for our children today.

It is incumbent upon us as parents, grandparents, community members, and leaders in the community to do everything we can to ensure our children are safe in school.

As a former school resource officer (SRO), I understand the importance of the role SROs serve in our schools. I understand that their role includes creating an environment of trust and mutual respect with students, so that students feel comfortable in sharing with their SRO any concerns they have, especially regarding school safety.

I am an advocate of having SROs at all of our public schools in Chandler. And it is a key component of two of my platform pillars – outstanding schools and safe neighborhoods. Students are not able to focus on their academic studies when they are concerned about being safe.

Therefore, I will be committed as your councilmember to support the Chandler Police Department in having the resources they need to provide SROs at our Chandler schools.  Recently, several former students I interacted with as a SRO became aware that I am a candidate for the Chandler City Council, contacted me and shared what a positive impact my interaction with them had on their lives.

Currently, SROs are funded by a three-year Safe Schools grant that underwrites the cost of six of the 10 SROs who provide services to Chandler’s public middle and high schools. The grant this year totaled approximately $770,000.

An intergovernmental agreement will ensure that for the 2018-19 school year the Chandler Police Department is able to provide an additional four SROs so that they can continue to provide services to all of the public middle and high schools within Chandler.

However, we must begin to plan now for the long term funding of SROs – beyond the end of the current Safe Schools grant.

As your councilmember, the safety of our children and families will be a high priority for me. In collaboration with the Chandler Unified School District and the Kyrene School District we can and must do more to make sure our children are safe at school.

We can and must do more to make sure that our communities are safe and that our first responders have the resources they need to respond to emergency calls as quickly as possible.

If we fail to do so and families suffer as a result, we will have failed in our most important responsibility, to ensure the safety and security of our community and its residents.

I ask for your vote and pledge to work hard as your councilmember to ensure Chandler continues to be a desirable place to live and work.

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