BSD, police department look for new SRO


BROOKINGS – The Brookings Police Department and Brookings School District wish School Resource Officer Darin Sinner the best as he begins his new job with the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation.

Now both entities are working together to fill the post.

Sinner’s last day on the job was June 27, and Brookings School District Superintendent Klint Willert said he would be missed in the Brookings School District.

“We really appreciate all of his contributions and service not only to the Brookings School District but to the Brookings community as a whole. Sometimes those are tough and thankless jobs, but know that we support him and his decision to move on in his professional career and wish him only the very, very best,” Willert said.

Sinner began his law enforcement career in Flandreau, where he worked for 2 1/2 years before joining the Brookings Police Department in 2010.

After returning to the Flandreau police force, he became the school resource officer there. He came back to the BPD in April 2013 and became the school district’s second school resource officer in the fall of 2015.

The remaining school resource officer is Josh Schneider.

When he started as school resource officer, Sinner primarily served Mickelson Middle School. In the last year, he began working out of Brookings High School with Schneider at the middle school.

Which school Schneider and the new school resource officer will work out of hasn’t been determined.

Resource officers handle a variety of tasks. Any crimes that happen at school, such as theft, harassment, disruptive students, drug activity or physical or sexual assault, involve the resource officer.

As Brookings Police Chief Jeff Miller explained, “It’s a pseudo-investigative position as well, so it’s not like they’re security guards. They do investigate and work crimes that occur on the school campus. And that’s what we’re concerned with; someone who has that ability to do follow up investigations. But most importantly, the biggest emphasis is someone that enjoys working with kids.”

The school district and the police department are working together to select from among the ranks of current BPD officers the new school resource officer.

Brookings High School Vice Principal Shelly Jensen and Mickelson Middle School Assistant Principal Todd Foster are representing the school district and participating in the selection process.

“It is important to us that we select someone that will have a good working rapport with the school that he is in and the administrators, as well as most importantly, someone that likes to work with kids,” Miller said.

A selection will be made before the start of the school year.

Which entity pays how much of the officers’ salaries differs between the two. The agreement reached with the hiring of the first school resource officer has the city fully pay the officer’s salary and benefits. With the second officer, however, the school district reimburses the city 75 percent of the officer’s annual salary and benefits. The city takes care of the remaining 25 percent.

This arrangement will remain unchanged when another officer is selected.

 

Contact Eric Sandbulte at [email protected]

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