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Police and school district make an important decision on behalf of local school safety

School is out for the summer, but while the kids and their families enjoy a well-earned break, the district and police department have made an important move on behalf of school safety. At some point next year, the schools will gain a second resource officer. Thanks to a bump in the police department budget, Prineville's law enforcement agency will hire three new officers, freeing up senior officers to fill a sergeant role, a position on the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team and a new SRO role.

The move was spurred by an ongoing effort by the school district and law enforcement to improve school safety — a demand prompted by the tragic continuation of mass shootings in schools. And while in an ideal world such a response would be unnecessary, it is encouraging to see school and police leaders respond and add more police presence in local schools. Not only does it provide another measure of security for the kids, it provides another resource when dealing with unfortunate situations like bullying, child abuse or drugs in school.

Will county become known for solar?

Could Crook County become known for yet another industry? Might we become the new go-to location for solar power generation? Who knows for sure, but the community certainly took a large step in that direction this past week with the announcement that the local Facebook data center will commit exclusively to solar power to generate the estimated 437 megawatts necessary to operate its facilities. Making that possible, Pacific Power reached an agreement with the social media giant and the City of Prineville that will result in the creation of six new solar power plants, including construction of two new ones in Crook County that will generate 100 megawatts once completed. To put this in perspective, the recently completed Gala solar plant south of Prineville off of Millican Road, known as the largest in Oregon, generates 56 megawatts.

These new projects represent just two of five unfinished solar plants permitted for construction by the county. Who knows what the future holds, but it appears the efforts of local leaders to lean on renewable power generation is off to a strong start.

Firefighters and sheriff's office accept lip sync challenge

Ask and you shall receive, the saying goes. Last week, we sang the praises of the Prineville Police Department for joining in the law enforcement lip sync challenge fun and dropping a video that parodied the "Dukes of Hazzard" and celebrated our Western roots.

It concluded with a challenge to the local sheriff's office and fire department to create their own videos, a challenge we wholeheartedly echoed in an editorial last week. The message from the two agencies: challenge accepted. At some point we will find out how creative and skilled with video production the local sheriff's office and fire department can be. We can't wait to see them.

Back to PD for a second, the video as of Monday morning had reached nearly 450,000 views, within striking distance of the department's goal of 500,000 by the end of the month. The numbers are climbing more slowly, but we still like their chances of meeting that threshold in the next week. Hey, maybe they could count some of the views from their blooper reel that debuted this past week. It's already knocking on the door of 30,000 views.

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