The City of Minden is scrapping its original proposal to the Webster Parish School Board for school resource officers and offered what they say is a simpler alternative.
Minden Mayor Tommy Davis says they are proposing to pay the SROs $25 per hour, which will include the officer, all the equipment they need, a patrol car and any other costs.
“What we’re trying to do is make something that is workable for everybody,” he said. “What I proposed was a flat rate per hour whether it was the chief of police, or a sergeant or lieutenant or officer first class. We would keep up with those hours on one of the school board’s timesheets, and we would turn that timesheet in to the school board at the end of the month with an invoice for that many hours worked.”
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Dan Rawls says the city sent them a letter with the proposal for the two SROs – one at Webster Junior High School and one at Minden High School.
“The accounting was getting to be a bit much for their side and ours,” he said. “The procedure was getting to be cumbersome, so they offered us just a flat rate by the hour.”
He explained it eliminates the headache of having to figure out benefits, the recordkeeping, the officers’ schedules, holidays, etc.
“They just decided to make things simple to do it by an hourly rate and we’ll be billed by the hour,” he said. “They made it much more simplistic to handle the accounting paperwork.”
Rawls says Springhill is still on the table as presented, but nothing has been decided yet.
In February, a revised contract was presented to the school board for their approval following a meeting between the Cities of Minden and Springhill and the board. However, board members expressed some concern over the fact there were no dollar amounts in the contract.
The original contract was presented to the board by Minden in June 2015, when Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd and Mayor Carroll Breaux approached the board to inquire about entering into a contract with them to cover an SRO.
Currently, both the City of Minden and Springhill receive $1,500 per month per officer for services to Minden High School, WJHS, and the Springhill schools.