BEAVERCREEK — City and school officials are considering adding a police officer at the middle school levels.
The current contract between Beavercreek schools and the city includes one School Resource Officer and expired June 30, included salary and benefits totaling $124,097.40.
The school district has been responsible for half of the cost of the SRO, approximately $62,000.
“We are considering the possibility of adding a Student Resource Officer (SRO) at the middle school level, but are only exploring the option at this time,” said Superintendent William McGlothlin, Ph.D., in e-mail to the News-Current.
Police Chief Dennis Evers called the second SRO “a worthwhile consideration if we’re ready to do this.”
The SRO currently assigned to Beavercreek High School, and provides a variety of services to its 2,600 students and staff, from safety planning and onsite security to law enforcement and citizenship education. The district also has a DARE officer that provides elementary schools with drug and alcohol prevention education.
“Both officers provide important services to our students,” McGlothlin wrote. “We believe an SRO would offer similar benefits to our middle school students, parents and staff.”
According to information presented at the July 7 work session, the SRO assigned to the high school works the entire school year, which equates to 1,260 hours, or 157 and one-half days. That officer’s hours are 7:45 a.m. until 3:45 p.m.
Before school starts at 8:12 a.m., and after school is dismissed, the SRO is responsible for traffic enforcement. During the school day, the SRO is responsible for “any issues requiring police involvement,” according to a June 27 memo from Evers.
When school is out for holidays, spring break or snow days, the officer is assigned to road patrol, Evers said.
The remaining 102 days in the officers annual work hours are assigned to road patrol and paid by the city.
The second SRO would have that same basic schedule, Evers said, working 8:15 a.m. until 4:14 p.m. Monday through Friday. The second SRO would be responsible for “non-emergency issues needing police intervention” at the elementary and middle schools.
City council members have concerns about how much the additional officer would cost, particularly in light of the recent passage of the city’s police levy, which was intended to add an additional officer to the force.
“It’s not going to deplete staffing, but reallocating it,” Evers told council.
“Studies (for these programs) say they are good at building good relationships,” said council member Vicki Giambrone. “I want to do what’s right for the community but need to have further discussions on our costs.”
Vice Mayor Debborah Wallace suggested asking the schools to pay for 700 hours of the second SRO’s salary as opposed to 630.
“It doesn’t have to be 50/50,” she said. “Why can’t it be 60/40?”
The City of Fairborn receives no reimbursement for the SRO at Fairborn High School, Evers said.
Providing the second SRO on a part time basis would be re more difficult because the officer would be on a 12-hour schedule, Evers told council. The school’s reimbursement would drop to 25 percent, or slightly more than 39 days of the school year.
Discussions will continue at the next council meeting, slated for July 14.