A school resource officer program with a full-time police officer was approved unanimously Thursday night by the Westminster School District Board of Trustees.
Approved was an agreement with the Westminster Police Department to serve WSD schools within the city of Westminster. The agreement will run for the remainder of the 2022-2023 school year and for the entire 2023-2024 school year.
The city will designate a special unit of officers within the WPD consisting of full-time police officers specially trained and selected to provide SRO service.
Typically, a school resource officer’s role consists of law enforcement, informal mentoring of students and in-person teaching.
Estimated costs of such a program are calculated at $136,618 plus overtime for a part-time SRO and $231,583 plus overtime for a full-time officer. Superintendent Gunn Marie Hansen recommends the full-time option.
The WSD is a K-8 system serving most of Westminster and parts of adjacent communities.
Over all of the United States I see city and county leaders approving these kind of expenses without much thought or consideration.
Let’s start like this:
1) the seo position was approved for 233k. It doesn’t give the breakout by salary and benefits but let’s start with an educated guess of salary at 175k.
Remember this is 175k PLUS overtime which officers in OC are making about 40K in overtime per year.
The average teacher in OC makes less than 100K in salary. That means a cop working on the school makes more than every teacher at that school and possibly more than the president and vice president.
Now I only have one word for that decision: outrageous! Are the city council members telling the public tax payers that a SRO is twice as important as a teacher at a school? What benefit will the school or schools get from having a SRO?
There should be tangible benefits from any position and it seems to me the general public is being sold the old “make schools safer” with no evidence or data showing what safer means. I’m sure this was unanimously approved without question or comment and those council members must be held accountable.
A good start is emailing the city council and asking those questions…