City Hall

Yankton’s schools will have a second pair of eyes to help keep them safe in the future.

During its regular meeting Monday evening, the Yankton City Commission voted 8-0 to enter into an agreement with the Yankton School District to add a second school resource officer (SRO) to the district.

City Manager Amy Leon said that one SRO is already active within the district.

“Currently we have one school resource officer — Preston Crissey — who primarily resides in the high school and helps the staff there as well as the students,” Leon said. “What we’re proposing here with this agreement is a second SRO for which we’ve received a COPS Hiring Grant.”

The grant provides for up to $125,000 in reimbursement for the next three years. The cost will be split 50-50 between the city and the school district.

The new SRO is Officer Dylan Wilson of the Yankton Police Department, Leon said. He will primarily be based at the Yankton Middle School and will travel to other schools as needed.

Leon said that the SRO program has been worked well since it was launched in Yankton in 2018.

“(We’ve had) lots of good feedback from faculty, staff and parents according to Dr. (Wayne) Kindle,” she said. “It’s a different situation in high school than when some of us walked through the halls, and I think it’s been a win-win for both the Yankton Police Department and the school district.”

Commissioner Amy Miner, who teaches at Yankton High School, praised the program.

“This is an outstanding program,” Miner said. “You talk about how good it is for staff, the district and how good it is for the police department. I say it’s good for the students as well. The way they’re able to build relationships and approach Officer Crissey and talk about anything … to have a friendly police presence in the building is invaluable, and I’m glad to see we’re expanding it.”

The Yankton School Board approved the agreement for a second SRO during its meeting July 13.

Ahead of Monday night’s meeting, the board also held a work session to briefly discuss a number of points on the preliminary 2021 municipal budget, which must be submitted by Aug. 1.

The board listened to presentations on potential utility rates, fixing the wastewater treatment plant, CARES Act implementation and the work on the Huether Family Aquatics Center.

Leon said that the board will go over the proposed budget following the Aug. 10 meeting

Commissioner Dave Carda was absent from both the work session and the regular meeting.

In other business Monday, the commission:

• Approved several plats.

• Approved an owner petitioned annexation of land in the 3000 block of West City Limits Road.

• Agreed to the CARES Act procurement and conflict of interest policy.

• Applied for a state BIG (Bridge Improvement Grant) grant for engineering on the Cedar Street bridge.

• Held a refresher/orientation course led by City Attorney Ross Den Herder, who addressed commissioners on what their various powers are, conflicts of interest and the other inner-workings of city government.

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