At the Montevideo City Council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 19, the city council discussed a proposed plan to hire a full-time school resource officer to the Montevideo Police Department.
The plan is still in very early planning stages, but Montevideo Police Chief Adam Christopher told the council the school hopes to have the officer in place this fall, and that it is something he's been talking about with Montevideo Superintendent Dr. Luther Heller for about two years.
"We have been looking at this for quite awhile and the idea ... has always been an important item for me. We had to make some reductions in that area a number of years ago, and wanted to get back and get a person that would be there and work in (all the schools)," Heller told the American-News earlier in the day.
To fund the new position, the school district has expressed willingness to pay for nine months of the officer's cost each year, which would represent the school year. The city would cover the other three months of the year.
At this point, the estimated cost per year would be $74,743 for salary and benefits. The school's share would come to $60,673 which would leave the city with a $14,070 commitment.
City staff seemed confident they could actually lower the cost to the city.
"We are fortunate that we are typically under budget (in the police department)," said Chris-topher.
It was also mentioned that there is a possibility a grant could come into play to help cover the cost.
Montevideo City Manager Steve Jones added, "We need to tell you what the (highest cost) would be."
Council Member Hay expressed concern that such a position could end up a burden on the city, or unfair to a potential employee if the school decided to back out of the agreement down the line. It would leave the city with the choice of covering the entire cost alone, or laying an employee off.
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