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Local cops will provide school security

The Wadena City Council unanimously approved a motion Tuesday to have existing Wadena police officers provide security for Wadena-Deer Creek students at M State.

A letter from WDC Superintendent Virginia Dahlstrom indicated that part of the lease agreement with M State required the school district to provide security.

In the letter, Dahlstrom requested for a city of Wadena police officer to be present four hours per school day, 11:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. The school district would pay $30 per hour for security.

Chief of Police Bruce Uselman said that rather than having a single person cover all security shifts, any one person from the existing staff would be there at any given time of the four-hour schedule.

"We would provide an officer as practical for our current operations," Uselman said. "We would use our existing staff to work those four hours per day. It may not be the same officer; it probably won't be the same officer."

Dahlstrom said that it would be best to have local police officers in the building rather than private security companies.

"Our students have gone through the DARE program. They know, they're familiar with our police officers," Dahlstrom said.

"It's a win-win situation," Uselman said. "Any time you get an officer in the school, that officer then is tracking what's going on in the school, any investigation involving juvenile activity."

Uselman and Dahlstrom said that in October, the security schedule would be evaluated and modified if needed.