City Council submits its price for more resource officers at schools

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Picayune’s City Council approved a proposed cost to add three more officers to present to the Picayune School District, which requested three more School Resource officers to allow the District to have an officer at each campus.

The cost proposal to be sent to the School District will be $584,878, of which the city will absorb $60,000 due to the officers being used during the District’s holidays and summer break.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Police Chief Bryan Dawsey said he came to that estimate based off the need to purchase additional equipment and cars for the extra officers. Currently there are four resource officers at the District. To add more officers would require additional vehicles, uniforms and other supplies.

Dawsey said that the School Resource Officers are used by the city during off periods with the School District, such as holidays and summer breaks. However, those officers are required to obtain more continuing education units than officers that don’t work at a school’s campus. Dawsey said SROs must undergo 48 hours of CEUs as opposed to the 24 hours for a officer that does not work at a school. The District will be required to cover any expenses associated with that training.

The District approved a motion during its March 13 meeting to increase its budget for SROs from about $148,000 to $260,000 to compensate for the extra personnel. If and when the Council and District come to an agreement on the price, the move will increase the number of School Resource officers from four to seven.

The Council’s offer will be sent to the District for review.

In other matters, the Council approved a motion to accept a 30×40 metal building valued at about $50,000 to be used as a physical training facility for police officers. The building was constructed next to the Picayune Police Department’s building on Main Street.

The Council also approved a motion to accept $41,607 worth of workout equipment that was installed at the same building next to the department, also for use by the officers. The funds were raised as part of the local Saving Police Lives campaign, said fundraising organizer Tonya Dawsey. She said she appreciated the community’s willingness to donate to the cause.

In other business, the Council:

— Approved a motion to proclaim April 1 -7 as Junior Auxiliary Week.

— Approved a motion to surplus unserviceable mowers within the Public Works Department. 

— Approved a motion to sign a contract with Axon to purchase electronic control devices to replace aging devices within the Picayune Police Department.

The next Council meeting will be April 17, at 5 p.m. in City Hall.