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Kanabec County votes to reinstate school resource officer program

The Kanabec County Board voted to reinstate the school resource officer program for the Mora and Ogilvie school districts at Tuesday’s meeting.


Last fall, Kanabec County’s program was put on hold after a bill passed that would prohibit restraints used by law enforcement contracted by school districts.


State legislation was passed this spring to clarify the definition of school resource officers and the authority they have to restrain students.


The memorandum of agreement has the county paying SRO expenses from Sept. 1 through December, with the districts responsible for expenses until the end of the 2024-2025 school year.


Sheriff Brian Smith said the sheriff’s office will work with Mora and Ogilvie on determining a funding formula for the future.


"We've got a new superintendent in Ogilvie that hasn't even started yet," Smith said. "We have to get to the table with them, see what their interests are, where they think their funding can come from. Same thing with Mora schools."


Smith also said the SRO program is beneficial to both districts.


"It is certainly something that I think is a good program for the kids and families in our school districts that are struggling," Smith said. "And there is a lot of struggling going on right now."


The board’s vote passed unanimously.


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