Hancock County Commissioners Turning Down 2/3 Funded School Resource Officer? [OPINION]
Editorial note: The following is the opinion of the author and in no way represents the opinion of WDEA.
There are times when no matter how hard I try to understand, I just can't understand why elected officials make the decisions that they do. Such is the case where it looks like two out of the three Hancock County commissioners are going to turn down a two-thirds-funded school resource officer. I asked to meet with Hancock County Sheriff Scott Kane and we discussed this on Tuesday, May 22.
A little background: I used to be a Bangor city councilor. I know how difficult the budgeting process is, and I hated to vote to raise taxes. But I have seen the good things school resource officers do, especially in Ellsworth and Bar Harbor. When you consider that more students have died to date from school-related shooting incidents than service members defending our country, and the commissioners refuse to allow the sheriff to hire a school resource officer, I am mad.
Superintendents in Union 93 and Union 96 have agreed to fund the proposed school resource officer to the tune of $80,000 if the county would provide the officer's cruiser, uniform, accessories, etc, which would be approximately $40,000. The sheriff's office would be able to use this deputy for patrol duties during the summer, school vacations. Yet commissioners Percy "Joe" Brown and Antonio Blasi are not in favor. Commissioner William Clark, a former Sheriff is in favor of the proposal.
Consider this, at times during the day, there could be one deputy on patrol in Hancock County. In the event of an emergency, it could take 30 minutes with blue lights going for a member of the Hancock County Sheriff's Department to travel from Ellsworth to Deer Isle-Stonington.
Please watch the video. If you feel like I do that the Hancock County commissioners should support Sheriff Kane's request to hire a school resource officer you need to contact the commissioners. You can email Scott Adkins the County Administrator. You can call Commissioner Percy "Joe" Brown at his home at (207) 348-6019. You can call Commissioner Antonio Blasi at his home at (207) 266-4449. (Note these numbers were obtained from the Hancock County Commissioner's webpage.)