August 30, 2023
There has been a lot of recent attention and intrigue statewide regarding police officers and their roles in public schools due to new legislative changes. The Lakeville Police Department and Lakeville Area Schools have a long-standing partnership involving School Resource Officers (SROs) operating in our schools to support a safe and nurturing school community. Unfortunately, the recent focus at the state level has been on use of force by officers in schools with ambiguous language and interpretations of new state legislation. While this is a critical piece to have clarity on, some of the most important benefits of a law enforcement and school partnership, such as mentorship, connectivity and relationship building, are pushed to the back burner.
While the recent legislative changes have caused concern and questions, created some unfortunate hurdles, and distracted from the true benefits of this partnership, we are committed to move forward with our SROs in Lakeville Area Schools. We will work with our elected officials to provide clarity and direction that promotes a safe and nurturing learning environment and consider the concerns of all stakeholders involved in this partnership.
Brad Paulson, Police Chief
Lakeville Police Department
Dr. Doug Van Zyl, Superintendent
Lakeville Area Schools