Gerald Aldermen Discuss Concern Over Gasconade R-II School Resource Officer

By Kaylin Bade

Gerald, Mo. – At a special meeting of the Gerald Board of Aldermen, the subject of the Gasconade County R-II School District employing a School Resource Officer (SRO) was discussed after school officials seem to have no plans of providing a SRO at Gerald Elementary School, which is part of Gasconade County R-II's School District.

At their last School Board Meeting, approval was granted for the school district to pay 75% of an Owensville Police Officer's salary, according to Alderman Jeff Landwehr, who stated he attended the meeting.

Gerald Mayor Otis Schulte said, "They are using our tax money to pay 75% of an Owensville City Police Officer's salary to be a SRO at Owensville, but have not offered to pay part of a Gerald Police Officer's salary to be an SRO down here." 

This brings several areas of concern to the City of Gerald, due to nothing being said at the School Board Meeting about the SRO having a periodic presence at Gerald Elementary.

Because the officer is employed by Owensville Police, it would require approval by police Chief Tommie Lowe for the SRO to enter Gerald Police Department's jurisdiction .

Alderwomen Dawn Czeschin said, "No one from the school board even approached Tommie [Lowe, Gerald Police Chief] about having a SRO at Gerald Elementary."

It was also noted by Landwehr that prior to the school board approving to pay for a SRO, an officer was chosen and he already attended training.

The SRO’s attention will mainly be directed at the Owensville Middle School, although Landwehr said it was stated at the School Board Meeting that the officer will be at the High School and Owensville Elementary as well.