North Judson Town Marshal Kelly Fisher provided an update for the School Resource Officer position when town council members met Monday night.
Marshal Fisher came before the council looking for formal approval for the SRO position, noting that NJ-SP is currently the only Starke County school without one.
Despite the absence of an SRO, it should be noted that Marshal Fisher and Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin have each highlighted the ongoing collaboration between the Police Department and the School Corporation during past town council and school board meetings, respectively.
The introduction of an SRO into the school system will be a continuation of the existing relationship.
Fisher noted that she’s coordinated with Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe about budgeting for the position. She mentioned that the cost to fund the position will be a total of $62,262. 49.
The Town would be responsible for $13,187.61 while the school would split their portion into two payments of $24,537.44 for a total payment of $49,074.88.
Fisher noted that school officials are looking to secure some grant funding to help cover their portion but have also accounted for the position in their own budget if the financial assistance is not received.
Fisher explained that the SRO would have an office at the Elementary School as well as the Middle High School and would perform duties in both buildings.
She went on to tell members how the SRO’s schedule would be divided up between the school and the town.
She noted, “It’s a 180 days/36 weeks that the School Resource Officer will be in the school and then the remainder we figured out there’s 80 days/16 weeks that the officer will work for the town.”
Fisher noted that she thinks having this additional position will help cut down on having to pay for overtime and part-time shifts.
The town council provided unanimous approval for Marshal Fisher to keep working on the SRO position. She mentioned that while nothing is finalized, they’re considering utilizing an officer who’s already on the force as the SRO.
Over the next few months, officials will be working to finalize the details surrounding the position in order to ensure that it’s successfully implemented. The hope is to have an SRO in the NJ-SP hallways by January.