The Washington City Council penned a deal with the school district Monday assigning a third School Resource Officer (SRO) to work in elementary schools.
Under an agreement between the city and Washington School District, the district will reimburse the city for about 75 percent of the salary of the three officers along with other expenses, totaling $133,000.
The agreement is for one year, ending June 30, 2019, with the option to renew the terms. When school is not in session the officers work with the police department.
The district approved the funding in its budget for the 2018-19 school year.
This contract varies with the previous SRO agreement because the third officer will patrol and visit schools outside the city limits, but within the Washington district. Those include Marthasville, Augusta, Clearview, Labadie and Campbellton.
The goal of SROs is to increase safety and security at school. The two SROs currently in the district are Mindy Schmelz and Greg Garrett.
A third SRO would be an officer already on staff, which would require the police department to hire a new officer.
The council voted 7-0 to approve the ordinance. Councilman Joe Holtmeier was not at Monday’s meeting.
According to Police Chief Ed Menefee, the new officer would not be funded through the Prop P sales tax approved last year.
All three of the SROs will be stationed at the schools during the day. Currently, the two SROs are stationed at the Washington High School and Middle School.
Menefee said there would be some restructuring of hours so the SROs can be at major school events, like prom and graduation.
The police department and school district also may work out an agreement paying officers overtime while they work basketball, football games or other events.