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Resource officers keep schools safe

It’s vital that we do all we can to keep our children safe while they’re at school.

In recent weeks we have seen one misguided group question the importance of school resource officers. I can definitively say our children are in a far better place while under the watchful eye of these outstanding men and women who protect and serve. There is no doubt these highly trained officers are making a difference in the lives of young people. In fact, I believe our school resource officers serve as a prime example of the kind of community policing efforts that could benefit law enforcement as a whole.

Our resource officers are not just enforcing the law. They are building relationships with students and faculty, and they’re creating ties with the community.

It was back in 2013 when we passed HB 152 to allow school districts to hire fully commissioned police officers to serve in these positions. As the person who carried this proposal across the finish line, I worked diligently to get support from all sides and craft a piece of legislation that could truly make a positive difference in our schools.

Our schools are safer and our kids are better off because of the contributions made by the many wonderful resource officers who are employed by school districts in all parts of Missouri. My hope is they will continue to protect and serve our institutions of learning, and the young minds they shape, for many more years to come.

State Rep. Sheila Solon

St. Joseph

Shelter is committed to transforming lives

It’s been almost a year since a large group of community partners got together and addressed a critical need for an Emergency Shelter in St. Joseph. After many discussions and funding from organizations, The Crossing Emergency Shelter opened in October 2019. The shelter provides a place for St. Joseph’s most vulnerable when a life situation causes someone to be homeless.

The global pandemic has touched all of our lives, and the homeless are not exempt. A few weeks ago, we shared that the Emergency Shelter lost the majority of funding from local organizations that endured financial losses from COVID-19. The future looked bleak. Now, Community Action Partnership has agreed to take over the operations of the shelter.

At the shelter, many have walked through the door when every other was closed. There are three types of homelessness: chronic, episodic and prison re-entry with home plans that failed. Our hope is that CAP can build on what the shelter started by focusing on the needs of the episodic and chronic population and continue to make strides to this vulnerable population.

The Crossing will shift attention to the original mission to help develop programs which lead to long-term stability. In September, it will open a prison re-entry program; the Nutrition Center will continue to be a focus; and in the future, The Crossing will develop programs to build workforce development opportunities. The Crossing is proud of the progress it has made and the organization is committed to continuing to transform the lives of the most vulnerable in St. Joseph.

Danny Gach

St. Joseph