The city of Isanti has requested a full-time school resource officer for a number of years, and due to the recent school district closure because of a rumored threat, the issue is once again at the forefront.
Isanti Mayor George Wimmer explained there are two full-time Cambridge Police officers who also serve as full-time school resource officers in Cambridge schools. Isanti schools have one school resource officer, Adam Gau, who works four hours per day.
“We have Officer Gau in the city of Isanti, which they only fund for four hours each day, which is inadequate to say the least,” Wimmer said. “We have tried for a number of years to get it changed to where it is a fully-funded position and it has been refused each time. Really disappointing, and then to state that security and safety is their top priority and then also to publicly give the impression that all three school resource officers in the district are fully funded is not accurate.”
Following discussion, the council approved a motion to have the Isanti City Council write a letter to the Cambridge-Isanti School Board asking them to fund a full-time school resource officer position in Isanti schools.
Wimmer highlighted Gau’s awards, which include the 2017 Minnesota Juvenile Officer’s Award, 2018 Minnesota Chiefs of Police Award for Distinguished Service, 2016 Minnesota Toward Zero Death Education All-Star Award, 2015 Isanti County Law Enforcement Distinguished Service Award and the 2015 MADD Outstanding School Resource Officer Award. Gau is also the 2018-2019 president of the Minnesota Juvenile Officer’s Association.
“Even before all of this happened last week and everything else going on, if anybody in the district should be a full-time school resource officer it should be Officer Gau. I think this is something that would benefit us all,” Wimmer said. “And it’s not about just having someone there in case something bad happens. All the programs that Adam has put together, many of them are copied throughout the state. He goes and teaches others how to do those.”
Wimmer said Gau is someone the district should want to have in the schools full time.
“He has just been a tremendous asset for us and for the school district. But it’s really those relationships. That’s really the key thing and one of the many things Adam does very, very well, is making sure that we know what is going on before something bad does happen,” Wimmer said. “There aren’t a lot of these awards out there and to have one officer get so many over a number of years really shows the quality that is there. If there’s anybody who I would want to have in the school district if I was a school board member or associated with the schools, it would be Officer Gau.”