Iowa City City Council supports armed resource officers in schools

BY NICK HASSETT | MAY 15, 2013 5:00 AM

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The Iowa City City Council discussed the placement of armed officers in Iowa City schools on Tuesday evening and voted to apply for a federal grant for the officers on a 6-1 vote.

The Iowa City School District would use the federal grant, which the Iowa City police are applying for, to put in place one or two resource officers on its campuses.

Iowa City Police Chief Sam Hargadine recommended supporting School Resource Officers to the council, citing the city’s ad-hoc Diversity Committee’s recommendation for officers to engage in community building.

“For the Police Department to get involved in positive relationship building, the program is where I see us being able to do that,” he said. “We may never have a catastrophe that makes front pages nationwide, but we do have a lot of other issues.”

Councilor Jim Throgmorton, the sole opposing vote on the measure, thought more public input was needed and wasn’t convinced that officers in schools would be the best option.

“I support the idea of improving connections between police officers and the community, but I’m not persuaded having armed officers is the best way to do that,” he said. “We need to be confident any officers [in schools] act to protect and serve, not control and monitor.”

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