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School board reviewing School Resource Officers contracts

by Minden Press-Herald

Contracts for school resource officers in schools are currently under review.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Dan Rawls says the contracts have been sent to the Webster Parish School Board’s attorney Jon Guice and expects to have approval no later than the August 3 meeting.

“If the board approves the positions, we will do a budget revision and include them in the budget,” Rawls said. “The reason they weren’t in the initial budget is because they came in after the budget had already been constructed and was out for public review. We have a number of accounts that we have to do budget revisions on and that’s going to be one of them.”

Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd and Springhill Mayor Carroll Breaux approached the board in June about getting the school board to pay for an SRO for them. Currently, the city pays for an SRO stationed at North Webster High School, but he covers other schools when needed, Lynd said in June.

Minden currently has two SROs, one recently becoming full-time at Webster Junior High School.

The board since has come back and said they wanted SROs to cover the other schools as well. Rawls says the board has asked for one for Doyline and Lakeside (one to be split between the two schools), one to be split between North Webster High School and North Webster Junior High and the two in Minden.

In the contracts will be what performances are needed, costs, terms and limits of the contract. Then the board will have to decide where the SROs will be, whether they will be full time or part time and list the conditions.

Lynd says he just wants it all to be fair across the board.

“It’s their decision; it doesn’t make me any difference either way,” he said. “I want it to be fair for everybody. I want it to be fair for Minden, and I want it to be fair for Springhill.”

He and Mayor Breaux attended Monday’s board meeting, but they were not told it wouldn’t be on the agenda, he says. However, he reiterated he just wants it to be fair.

In Minden, the school board pays for one full-time SRO at Minden High School for 10 months out of the year. The other two months, Sgt. Tokia Whiting goes back on regular patrol and back on the police department’s payroll.

Rawls says with the deletion of one position (an industrial arts instructor), they should have the money to cover the expense of paying the SROs.

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