The Macomb Township Board of Trustees and Chippewa Valley Schools have agreed to split the cost of adding a second school liaison officer from the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office at Dakota High School this fall.

The Macomb Township Board of Trustees and Chippewa Valley Schools have agreed to split the cost of adding a second school liaison officer from the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office at Dakota High School this fall.

File photo by Erin Sanchez


Second school liaison officer approved for Dakota

By: Joshua Gordon | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published August 8, 2018

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Dakota High School will have a second school liaison officer for the 2018-19 school year after the Macomb Township Board of Trustees approved to pay half the cost of the additional officer.

Chippewa Valley Schools Superintendent Ron Roberts said the district had mutual discussions with the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office about the need for additional help at Dakota. According to Sheriff Anthony Wickersham, there was a 36-percent increase in school and juvenile complaints in Macomb Township from 2016 to 2017.

The Sheriff’s Office is the policing authority for Macomb Township.

“I think there has been added stress on that (liaison) position and, over time, we felt it would best serve our school community if we added another officer,” Roberts said. “That allows us to always have an officer on site at our high school at Dakota, and gives an officer additional time to address other needs in the school district.”

The Board of Trustees unanimously approved to pay $63,196, or 50 percent, of the cost of the second liaison officer. The board also unanimously approved the budget for the first officer, which Supervisor Janet Dunn said the township has done for several years.

In February, the Sheriff’s Office responded to Dakota regarding a threat written on a urinal in one of the boys bathrooms stating there would be a school shooting. While on the grounds, deputies were also informed of another student in the Ninth Grade Center stating he had a gun.

The Sheriff’s Office found no credible threat in either incident, but deputies were posted on school grounds to monitor the situation. The incidents came only a few days after a school shooting in Florida left 17 people dead.

Dunn, who brought the motion forward, said she felt a recent uptick in threats at high schools in Michigan and across the country necessitated an additional officer at Dakota. 

“Hopefully, the additional liaison officer will help,” Dunn said. “I know they have a terrific rapport with the students there and hopefully this will help avoid some terrible tragedy.”

Roberts said the second liaison officer was not part of the original school year budget, but the board approved the increased expenditure to provide an “added level of security.”

While the additional officer will help address any security issues, Roberts said it also allows the Sheriff’s Office to continue to connect with the students and the community.

“This allows our police liaison officers to serve in a greater role with our schools by having more of a presence at our schools when they can,” Roberts said.

“We don’t want our community to think any time an officer is at the school there must be a problem. They can develop a better relationship with the community and the officers will, of course, add an additional layer of security.”

In April, Shelby Township and Sterling Heights worked with Utica Community Schools to add school resource officers at each of the four high schools starting in the spring.