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Liaison officer, assistant superintendent positions return

December 15, 2010 - Brandon Twp.- The school district plans to have a police liaison officer and an assistant superintendent again following school board approval Monday.

The board unanimously approved the return of the assistant superintendent position after a 4-year absence.

"Approximately four years ago, the position was eliminated," said Superintendent Lorrie McMahon. "I believe the district needs to become laser focused on our student academic achievement and this position will oversee instruction, the development of curriculum, and accountability for our students' success."

Joanna McKinney will fill the position, while also remaining curriculum director for the district. McMahon said a contract would be negotiated after the first of the year.

Reinstatement of the police liaison officer position passed by a 5-1 vote, with Luke Frye voting no.

"Our primary goal is the prevention of students making bad decisions and to help them make good decisions," said McMahon. "The liaison officer offers a safe, confidential resource many kids don't otherwise have."

Frye said the positives of having a police officer in the schools was well understood, but he is concerned there won't be funds in next year's budget for the position.

The police liaison officer will cost the district about $50,000 to be in place from Jan. 1 through July 1. It is unknown whether he will return for another school year with the district facing more budget cuts.

McMahon wants Ken Alderman, an Oakland County Sheriff's Office deputy who has previously served as the school liaison officer, to return to the position; however, it is unknown whether it will be him or another officer placed in the schools.

"The board gave me the right to negotiate with the Oakland County Sheriff's Office to reinstate the school liaison officer and as long as negotiations work out, we will have the position the first of the year again," McMahon said.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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