Blue Earth Schools to add resource officer

BLUE EARTH – Faribault County commissioners have approved a school resource officer for Blue Earth Area Schools.

Sheriff Mike Gormley and Chief Deputy Scott Adams have been working on how a resource officer could benefit the school and county. The school board has already approved a resource officer in its budget.

As proposed, a current deputy will be placed in the school and a new hire will backfill the position in the sheriff’s department.

For the resource officer, the district contributes nine months of expenses – the school year – while the Sheriff’s Office will assume three months, when school is out and the deputy can fill shifts and help cut down on overtime.

“We don’t know who this person will be,” Gormley said. “The school will be involved in hiring.”

“I thought it made sense on a variety of levels,” said Commissioner Tom Loveall. “This might be a sign of the times.”

The Sheriff’s Office will be responsible for scheduling the deputy’s time and he or she will be visible in the high school, the elementary/middle school in Blue Earth and the elementary school in Winnebago. Gormley said a marked squad car will be parked out front and the officer will be in uniform.

“It’s great that Blue Earth Area Schools is coming up to bat in this,” said Commissioner Bill Groskreutz.

In other county business, LuAnn Hiniker, regional director for the University of Minnesota Extension, announced that June Sorenson had been hired as director for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program. Sorenson will start July 28.

Hiniker also stated that the 4-H director opening will close this Friday. A committee will decide which candidates to interview.

On another topic, the board instructed County Attorney Troy Timmerman to draw up a contract for the Joint Powers Agreement regarding animal control for the county and cities of Blue Earth, Elmore and Winnebago.

Gormley said one person has applied to be the animal control officer.

In other action, commissioners approved:

o A three-year contract between the Faribault County Economic Development Authority and the Faribault County Development Corporation, with the authority paying the corporation $52,000 annually.

o Hiring Candy Jansen as a part-time corrections officer.

o Hiring Joyce C. Fraser as a part-time transit driver.