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Importance of resource officers in our schools

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - A series of violent incidents in Wisconsin this week has parents on edge. Two shootings and up to six other gun related incidents or violent threats at eight different schools demonstrate the importance of school resource officers.

"If I'm here or an officer is here, it makes it so much better for the safety of the school," said La Crescent police officer Mike Ernster.

Onalaska has had a SRO for years. The superintendent says student connections are the main priority for those officers.

"The first role of the resource officer is to build relationships with children. That is their daily work," said Onalaska school district superintendent Todd Antony.

It's important to have police presence in and around the school so they're prepared for any scenario, any time.

"The horrible thing with school shootings or anything like that is that it happens so fast and so quick that you know every little minute, second counts," Officer Ernster added.

Resource officers are a big part of preparation for the worst case scenario. Another part of those preparations is happening this Saturday at La Crescent High School with an active shooter training drill.

Declan Levy

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