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School Resource Officer contract still under review

by Minden Press-Herald

A proposed contract between the City of Minden and the Webster Parish School Board for school resource officers is still under review says
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Dan Rawls.

“We still don’t have it from our lawyer,” Rawls said. “He says he’s been busy with litigation.”

Rawls says the contract is still under review because it will have to be rewritten regarding a clause that pertains to expenses like fuel, cars and uniforms.

“We just want the service,” he said. “He objected to things like us having to pay for gas and police cars. He said that’s something they would furnish through the police department.”

He says they need to expand on the details as far as salary schedules and for what exactly they will be paying.

Currently, the school board pays a flat rate of $1,500 per month for a school resource officer for Minden High School and Webster Junior High School.

Rawls says their attorney’s contention is that the school board should be responsible for the officers’ salaries only.

Minden Police Chief Steve Cropper says the city/police department has paid Sgt. Tokia Whiting’s salary and Officer Tina Douglas’ salary and will continue to do so until a contract is agreed upon.

“What they’ve agreed to do until the contract is signed is they are using Sgt. Whiting and Officer Douglas and they are going to reimburse the city when that contract is complete,” he said. “The City of Minden is paying them and the school board will reimburse.”

During the summer months, Cropper says the officers’ full pay reverts back to the City of Minden until school starts again.
According to the school board’s general ledger, the rate was increased to $1,500 per month from $1,250 per month in 2003.

Springhill mayor Carroll Breaux and police chief Will Lynd approached the school board recently asking them to pay their school resources officer as well, so a contract between Springhill and the school board is also under review.

Rawls says the school board is looking into providing one for Lakeside Jr./Sr. High School and Doyline High School, but nothing concrete has been set up.

“We’re actually going to have three different agencies under contract with us,” Rawls said. “We’re going to have two for Minden, Springhill will have one and I assume Lakeside and Doyline will share one. That one has not been negotiated yet.”

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