Funding for police patrols in Wellington’s schools has been extended through Oct. 18 via a board of education vote.
Security officers became a subject of debate in August after the board said it felt the village should help cover some of the costs.
“There’s no money in the police budget right now to contribute to the security officer program,” said mayor Hans Schneider. “When all of this was kind of breaking over the summer, I spoke to the schools’ treasurer and confirmed they did have the money to fund it. The new superintendent has a good head on his shoulders and I think he will help work through these issues.”
School board member Ayers Ratliff proposed asking the village for $15,000 for the program at a meeting Aug. 19. He said the district spent $38,000 to pay security officers in 2015. A $10,000 donation from John Cloud Sr. and John Cloud Jr. of Forest City Technologies played a large part in starting the program last year.
Officers will be paid $25 per hour when working in the schools and will be considered district employees when performing those duties.
In a village council meeting, Schneider characterized the officers as freelancing at the schools with village permission.
“(Police chief Tim) Barfield has met with the new superintendent and they’ve agreed we need to have this. What they want to have is a memorandum of understanding that the school will hand these officers that says what’s expected of officers. It will clarify what the job description is. In those times, those officers are technically employed by the schools.”
School board member Daniel Rosecrans said he wants to see a sign-in, sign out system used by officers. He said time is currently self-reported by officers to school principals, who then report it to the school board.
Interim superintendent Tom Tucker said the board will continue to look for ways to extend funding for the rest of the academic year.
“We have until the next meeting to finalize some more aspects, but right now, the program will operate the same way it did last year,” he said.
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.
Jonathan Delozier | Wellington Enterprise The Wellington board of education voted Sept. 20 to extend school security officer funding through Oct. 18. Interim superintendent Tom Tucker (seen here) says educators are working to find cash to stretch the program through the academic year.