Northland Pines School District to start "Quick 50" program next school yearSubmitted: 04/04/2018
Allie Herrera
Allie Herrera

Northland Pines School District to start
EAGLE RIVER - Eric Neff's approach to his job is simple.

"Proactive [rather] than reactively," said the Northland Pines school resource officer. 

For the last two years, Neff, who works with the Vilas County Sheriff's Office, has worked to strengthen his relationship with students.

"It's an environment where I know pretty much 90 percent of the population [in here]," said Neff. 

The district is looking to build on those positive relationships with a new program that would use $50 as an incentive.

"We want to really stress that if you see something, say something," said Superintendent Dr. Mike Richie. 

The program called "Quick 50" would give a student that reports a legitimate tip $50. The person calling in the tip can remain anonymous, but the tip must lead to an arrest.

"It could involve a student [having] a weapon in their locker, they have some drugs in a backpack, they have something that's illegal," said Richie. 

Richie worked with the program during his time in the New London School District. He said it's been very successful there and in other parts of the state.

"We're giving students and kids a voice, an anonymous voice to speak out and say something," said Janesville Police Officer Chad Sullivan. 

Sullivan says the schools in Rock County have been using the "Quick 50" program through Crime Stoppers for about 30 years. The program has alerted police to possible school shooters. They average between 15-25 "Quick 50" rewards per school year.

"It's not the person that's really in crisis that's going to have the voice," said Sullivan. "It's the people next to them that are seeing this and they're the ones that are reaching out through this technology."
In Eagler River, Eric Neff hopes the students he's built relationships with continue reaching out and being proactive.

"I would rather give somebody $50 than to have a problem that I wasn't able to stop before it even happened," said Neff. 

Mike Richie said he's confident the school will fund the program through its own budget. He also mentioned the "Quick 50" program is just a small part of the safety plans the school is currently working on.

The Vilas County Sheriff's office is planning on reaching out to other schools in the county regarding the "Quick 50" program.

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