School board, police to look into their relationship at meeting
In the wake of parents’ concerns over the past year regarding the Truckee Police Department’s relationship with local schools, the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District board and Truckee Town Council will hold a joint workshop tonight.
The workshop, scheduled for 6 p.m. in the school district board room, comes at an appropriate time Ð just weeks after a freshman boy was arrested on suspicion of raping a fellow student at Tahoe Truckee High School. The alleged rape occurred in an unsupervised area of campus during lunchtime. There was no officer present on campus at the time of the incident; there has been no school resource officer at the schools since December 2003, due to a police department staffing shortage.
The workshop, however, was not prompted by the incident at Truckee High; the meeting was scheduled two months ago and was spurred by parent complaints over the past year.
At an October 2003 town council meeting, Truckee resident Sandy Casey said Truckee police officers are overbearing and going beyond their duties when it comes to Truckee teenagers. She went so far as to call it “youth profiling.”
Town Manager Steve Wright said Casey’s and other comments aroused the need for increased dialogue between the town Ð which oversees the police department Ð and school district.
“The council said, ‘We ought to step back and meet with the school board and talk about school board-law enforcement relations and expectations,” Wright said.
There will be a public input session at the beginning of the meeting.
Although discussion about the alleged rape incident is not an agendized item, school district Superintendent Dennis Williams said safety issues surrounding the topic and arrest may be discussed.
“The agenda [for the workshop] is very general to facilitate an open discussion,” Williams said.
Go to the meeting
The school board and town council will meet to discuss the police department’s role in the schools tonight at 6 p.m. in the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District board room, 11839 Donner Pass Road in Truckee.
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