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Waterford releases emergency funds for school resource officer after Waukesha shooting
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Waterford High School

Waterford releases emergency funds for school resource officer after Waukesha shooting

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WATERFORD — After an officer-involved shooting at Waukesha South High School shocked the region on Monday, the Waterford Village Board authorized emergency funding to place a school resource officer in Waterford High School.

An officer was already at the school Tuesday morning, about 12 hours after village officials authorized the expenditure. The funds — an estimated $45,000, which could be split by the school district, village and surrounding municipalities — will allow Waterford Police to send a full-time officer to the school and backfill that officer’s shifts with part-time help, according to Sgt. William Jeschke.

“It’s going to be kind of a Band-Aid, if you will, until we can get somebody permanently in there,” Jeschke said.

The temporary SRO will be “one of three or four officers” who have previously worked with the high school, Jeschke said. The officer will be taken off the patrol roster when they are at the school, he said.

Many of the details still need to be worked out, Jeschke said, and the municipalities will need to meet with police. Village President Don Houston asked Village Administrator Zeke Jackson to bring more details back at the next board meeting.

The decision to provide emergency SRO funding comes as the WHS School Board is planning to bring recurring SRO funding to a referendum in the spring. The Town and Village of Waterford boards passed resolutions last month in support of placing the referendum on ballots for next April’s election.

Annual funding is estimated at about $100,000.

“Being the only high school in the Southern Lakes (conference) to not have an SRO — the time has come,” Village Trustee Troy McReynolds said.

Another incident

Hours after school began Tuesday morning, an Oshkosh Police officer was involved in another shooting at Oshkosh West High School — the second school shooting in Wisconsin within 24 hours. The officer and an armed student were both injured and transported to local hospitals, police said.

Efforts to fund a Waterford SRO have previously failed. Last July, the village, town and school district disputed who should pay for the SRO, and how the cost should be divided.

Under the current referendum plans, the high school district would pay 73% of the cost. The district previously agreed to pay only 50%.

In addition to the Village and Town of Waterford, Waterford High School serves portions of the towns of Norway, Dover and Raymond and part of the Village of Rochester.

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