WENATCHEE - Several topics related to current and future security at Wenatchee High School were discussed at Tuesday evening’s meeting of the Wenatchee School District (WSD) Board of Directors.
One of those items on the agenda involved the return of a rifle issued by the Wenatchee Police Department.
The weapon was removed from the high school last January following concerns expressed by WSD board members over student safety, but last night the board unanimously voted that the firearm be given back to the school for storage in a secure safe as before.
Wenatchee Police Chief Steve Crown was in attendance at the meeting, and detailed for the board his belief that having the rifle securely stored at the high school allows its resource officer quicker access to the weapon in the event of an active shooter situation. Those sentiments were thoroughly echoed by the District’s parent advisory committee as well.
Last night’s meeting also featured a presentation by Chief Crown regarding the addition of another resource officer at the high school, something WSD communications director Diana Haglund says the District greatly supports but will need more time to take action on.
Haglund tells iFIBER ONE News that budgetary challenges for the upcoming year will require the idea to be tabled for now, but that the District will be taking a closer look at its feasibility during their next budget workshop on Jan. 17, 2019, when it plans to have a benefit cost analysis available for further study.
Haglund detailed that the District's estimated cost for carrying two school resource officers would be approximately $136,080 and the new agreement with WPD would add an estimated $46,165 in ongoing costs for the District. The change reflects a 50 percent split between WPD and WSD of all salary, overtime compensation, and benefits provided for both officers.