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Brandon Schools liaison officer returns for 2011-12



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August 03, 2011 - Brandon Twp.- For the past few years, the school liaison officer position has been on the budget chopping block. Last year, school board members even brought the axe down and went without the liaison for the first part of the school year.

Not this year.

Elimination of the position was never brought up during budget talks and the township board unanimously approved an intergovernmental agreement to contract with the Oakland County Sheriff's Office for a school liaison officer.

Ken Alderman will return as the school liaison officer.

"He knows the community, knows what is going on and he is a huge support to kids whether they are in trouble or not," said Superintendent Lorrie McMahon. "Without him for the first four months of the school year, there was a big hole and we noticed it. When I asked teachers and administrators what they wanted reinstated, there was no question that it should be Ken. He works at all levels with all families and his support is so valuable."

In the past, the school district and the township board agreed to share the cost of the school liaison officer. The school board decided last year to not contribute to funding the position any longer, and the township board voted to eliminate the position altogether.

The school board voted 5-1 in December to reinstate the school liaison officer from January through June at a cost of $50,000.

The school district will pay $100,000 to have the school liaison officer for 10 months during the 2011-12 school year. That total includes salary, benefits, and a patrol vehicle. The school liaison officer is present at the schools every day, and also attends sporting events and dances. Alderman handles not only crimes by minors, but investigation of all crimes against children as well, including sexual abuse and child cruelty.

"We can't put his worth in financial numbers because the work he does is so positive for the students," McMahon said. "He makes the atmosphere in the buildings better."

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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