Alpena public schools have written a letter to legislators regarding school resource officers. APS employs more than 500 faculty members and caters to over 3,600 students.
Including fully–funded school resource officers to the Michigan 2022–23 fiscal year budget for secondary schools would foster a safer school environment. “We have wonderful officers and deputy that work for us currently. They are important for so many reasons. Yes, they’re a source of defense in the case of an intruder, but they are also liaisons. They are a vital part of our staff to both junior high and high school,” said Lee Fitzpatrick, director of communications for Alpena public schools.
Preventing any type of threat to students and faculty is a top priority of APS. “I think it’s a never ending battle to keep kids safe. The threats that come in drugs, vaping, and violence between students are issues that always existed. But I believe that our resource officers are tremendously valuable when those situations arise,” said Fitzpatrick.
APS parents are supportive of the school’s employing resource officers to prevent danger or threat. “There’s many opinions, as there are opinions on many issues, but I would say in general our community is supportive of having officers in school,” said Lee Fitzpatrick. “We’re looking for our government to say school safety is a priority and we want to spend certain funding on school safety.”
With continual state funding, district leadership could focus on enhancing Michigan’s school systems.