City Council approves Olympic School Resource Officer Thursday night


By Jack Mayne

The Des Moines City Council’s relatively short meeting on Thursday (June 27) approved placing a city police officer at the temporary Olympic interim site and thanked the retiring manager of the senior center.

Council members were also told of city probation officer Melissa Patrick winning the Washington State Misdemeanant Probation Association’s probation officer of the year award from the Washington State Misdemeanant Probation Association.

School resource officer
Council approved an interlocal agreement with Highline Public Schools for a school resource officer at the temporary Highline High School at the Olympic Site. The school district is making improvements so Olympic can be used to house students during the construction of a new high school and during future school construction projects. Highline High students and staff will use the Olympic Interim School from fall 2019 through spring 2021.

The Olympic Interim School site is at 19835 8th Ave South in Des Moines. The site also served in the past as the interim site for Mount Rainier High School as well as Raisbeck Aviation High School.

Police Chief Ken Thomas said the city began getting comments and complaints about adding a new school in the neighborhood and increased traffic and other concerns. He said that he and Matthias went to the Highline administration to ask whether the district would support the addition of school resource officer, often referred to as an SRO.

“It wasn’t at first met with great fanfare because it is pretty expensive,” Thomas told Council. “The contract is about $80,000 that they are going to provide paid by the school district. The school district regularly contracts police services with the King County Sheriff’s Office but noted the city wanted to have a Des Moines officer involved because of the concerns of area residents.

“We will get our officer up there by the beginning of the school year,” said Thomas.

Matthias said “it just adds to the value of having two SROs at that school.”

The city will be reimbursed $80,000 for the officer “which is consistent with the cost to the city for the officer over the school year.”

Melissa Patrick lauded
Des Moines Municipal Court Judge Lisa Leone introduced to Council the court’s probation officer, Melissa Patrick (pictured above, left), who won the Washington State Misdemeanant Probation Association’s probation officer of the year award from the Washington State Misdemeanant Probation Association.

“I just wanted to publicly recognize her, I certainly could not do my job without her,” Judge Leone said of Patrick. Patrick has worked with is domestic violence offenders and to work with these people “off she went to get certified so she could offer this course at the court.” Leone said there are three such classes in Des Moines and may add a fourth class. “It has been a tremendous benefit providing very cost effective programming to the defendants who most need it.”

“I come to work ever day, enjoying what I do, loving what I do and working with a population I work with. I believe everyone can make a little change and make Des Moines a little safer,” she said to the City Council.

Senior Services
City Manager Michael Matthias thanked with appreciation the “phenomenal job” of Kathy Burrows (pictured, left) of Wesley Community Services Organization running city senior services. Burrows is retiring.

Burrows said her first time working with a city government has “just been amazing” for the “amount of support” the city has given her. She also lauded Charisse Gregory, the Senior Services Center Programmer, “she cares so much, she knows so much” and has to be told to go home each day because of her commitment to the center.

Wesley is a Des Moines-based senior services corporation that was brought in to administer city senior services when the previous city employee Wesley services contract has been continued for another year, Matthias said.

“There has been very active engagement and participation by seniors at the senior center,” Matthias said. “We were able to make a number of capital improvements ….”

Susan Cezar, city chief strategic officer, said “Kathy has done a wonderful job for us and was able to make strong relationships with seniors, with the volunteers as well as all of our partner organizations ….”


Comments

2 Responses to “City Council approves Olympic School Resource Officer Thursday night”
  1. Patrick Nardo says:

    This is only one example of our outstanding Des Moines Council team voting the “7 0” in total agreement for something direly needed and not affordable with previous budgets A budget that, with many sacrifices on the part of our city employees was made possible with the dedicated efforts of our council to today’s prosperity. Who would find this “7-0” voting, exposes their total ignorance of how a council should work. The safety of our younger citizens is, and should be of the utmost concern, and this council deserves full credit for a deed well done. Is not, and never was “Bobby Town”.

  2. Patrick Nardo says:

    ” Who would find this “7-0” voting, exposes their total ignorance of how a council should work.”
    Please excuse my poor typing. Correct this sentence to: “Who would FAULT this “7-0” voting, exposes their total ignorance of how a council should work.”

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