MADISON, Ala. (WAFF) - Students aren’t in classrooms yet, but the Madison City Council took a step to secure their safety.
Monday night the council approved an agreement with Madison City Schools to equip two more school resource officers.
If the Madison City School Board approves its end of the agreement at its meeting Tuesday night, the number of SROs will go up to 11 (covering 11 school campuses).
The school board would pay the salary of the two officers for the time on school property (8 hours a day, 180 days) and for the mandatory state conference for SROs.
The total cost would be $66,865.92 for the district in the upcoming year, bringing its annual investment into on-campus police to $420,173.52.
The city, through the police department’s budget, will pay $36,634.55 to equip the new officers (vehicle, equipment, weapons, uniforms etc....)
The agreement would bring the city investment to $225,052.10.
Madison City Schools Superintendent Robby Parker said the district is always looking to expand the safety and security of its students, and this is just another step.
“We want even more coverage, we feel like in some of the larger schools, we want two SROs full time,” he said.
Parker estimated the district’s budget for safety and security is $750,000, a growing expense.
“We could hire teachers with that, but we’re spending it on safety and security and we will continue to do that,” he said.
Madison Police’s Capt. John Stringer said the department will be sending its best officers to protect the city’s students.
“They’ve got to be the whole picture, they’ve got to be able to talk, they’ve got be able to solve problems, they’ve got to be able to plug student in need into the right resources, and they also have to be able to take decisive action if something were to happen in our schools," he said.
The officers will come from Madison’s existing patrol force. The department is actively looking to hire eight new officers (which include the two moving into the SRO role).