School Officers

School Resource Officer Ty Mower walks through the Kelly Walsh High School cafeteria in May. Mower was then one of only two school resource officers in Natrona County schools, but a plan between the school district and police department would increase that number to 10 in the coming years.

Roughly a year ago, the Casper City Council held two four-hour strategic planning meetings at the Casper Events Center. The lengthy sessions were intended to help Council members set high-level objectives for the city in the coming year.

At Tuesday’s work session, City Manager Carter Napier said it was time to review those goals.

“I think it’s a positive report,” Napier said.

One of the Council’s primary concerns at the time was improving public safety, he recalled. The city manager said he believed the city’s leaders have actively worked toward that goal, particularly regarding school safety.

After a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, left 17 students and staff members dead in February 2018, the Council passed a resolution in April vowing to play an active role in protecting students.

“If somebody goes in (a Casper school) and shoots my grandson and we haven’t even addressed it, then why I am here?” Councilman Dallas Laird asked at the time.

In July, the city of Casper and the Natrona County School District agreed to share the costs of bringing on 10 additional school resource officers within the next three years.

There were previously only two school resource officers in Casper schools — one based at Kelly Walsh High School, the other at Natrona County High.

Another goal from the planning sessions was to increase community engagement, Napier said.

“We have heightened our social media presence,” he said, adding that a city mobile app will also soon be available.

The app will link users to Casper’s website and send push notifications from the city, according to a recent memo sent to Napier. Push notifications are messages that users can receive without opening the app. The memo states that the app will cost $3,500 a year for the city to maintain.

The city plans to eventually implement a more complex app that will allow residents to file service requests, according to Napier.

“The idea is that when a person wants to file a complaint with the organization, they hit a button and it takes them directly to a screen … instead of having to navigate through the layers of the website to get to that,” he said previously.

Napier said Tuesday that Council members should also take pride in the fact that Natrona County’s 1-cent sales tax passed its public vote in November at its highest rate ever.

The optional tax, which sends one penny of every dollar spent in the county to local governments, passed with 75 percent of voters in support.

The city manager said this shows the city’s leaders have a positive relationship with the community.

The Council will hold new planning sessions later this winter.

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Follow city reporter Katie King on twitter @KatieKingCST


Local Government Reporter

Katie King joined the Star-Tribune in 2017 and primarily covers issues related to local government. She previously worked as a crime reporter in the British Virgin Islands. Originally from Virginia, Katie is a graduate of James Madison University.

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