Bridgeport levy focus squarely on safety

BRIDGEPORT -Voters in the Bridgeport school district are facing an important decision next Tuesday.

Superintendent Ted Downing and the rest of the district’s leadership believe it’s also an easy one.

That’s why the district hasn’t spent large sums of money on the campaign.

It boils down to a simple question: Do voters want safe schools or not?

“It’s basically a community decision, ‘Do you want police in the building or not,”’ Downsing said. “We haven’t done a lot of campaigning. The levy speaks fr itself. It’s about safety.

“If you want safe schools, vote for the levy.”

Voters will be deciding whether to approve the 1-mill, five-year levy that is earmarked solely for school safety.

Mainly, it will go toward funding a school resource officer for the school complex, with any extra providing funding for any security upgrades.

“It covers the expense of having a sheriff’s deputy in the building for the entire year,” Downing said. “And if we want to upgrade the camera systems, anything that is needed to improve the safety of the students, we can do that.”

Downing noted that the levy will also allow the district to staff an officer/s at all school-related functions that occur after the regular school day.

The district has utilized a resource officer since January, funded at the board’s expense through its budget. This levy will allow the district to keep a resource officer for the next five years.

That officer provides more than just a man monitoring who is coming in and out of the school however.

Downing noted the officer will go into classes and talk to the students about bullying, safety and a number of topics. He gets involved in the school and gets to know the kids.

He also assists the administration in any investigations that need to take place.

“In this day and age, yo just never know and this gives us an extra sense of protection by having something there full time,” Downing said. “It’s a decision each taxpayer will have to make … how important is safety for the kids in the community.”

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