|Bellview Middle School is one of the seven schools that might lose their SROs. Why cut the SRO program?|
I get it that we are at somewhat of a budget impasse at the moment--but why cut the SRO program?
Bellview Middle School without a SRO??--this could be problematic. Bailey Middle without the SRO?? We are going to have parents enraged. This won't be pretty.
Of course, this is the Sheriff's prerogative if he chooses--but 1/2 of the cost of the SRO's is funded by the school board, and 1/2 of the benefits for the SRO officers is funded by the School District as well.
If he chose to--the Sheriff could offset his costs of the SRO program even more, by utilizing Law Enforcement Trust Funds to accomplish this by funding some of his 1/2 using LET funds.
SRO's are specifically called out as an allowable use of LET funds--so instead of funding charitable groups to such an extreme level--as has been occurring over the last several years----some of this money could be used for the SRO program. This would free up general fund dollars for the ECSO to fund other issues--like compression pay or raises.
Plus--the contract for the SRO's with the school district gives the sheriff the ability to pull the officers out of the schools when necessary due to emergency situations or need. This seems like a win-win for budgetary and pragmatic reasons that strongly benefits the ECSO.
So again I ask--"Why cut the SRO Program?"
I'm going to suggest that we discuss the LET funding at an upcoming BCC meeting--especially in light of this letter from the state attorney...........
The embarrassing article and cartoon from Sunday should also be a wake up call for the BCC.
I think we need to establish a better process for approving the expenditures from this LET fund
before checks are written. I'd like to see us discuss with the Sheriff the idea of utilizing some of these funds for the SRO program--rather than cutting the SRO program.
But we don't run the ECSO general fund, we don't question the expenditures of general appropriations lower that the functional category level.
We do, however, have a statutory role to play in approving LET expenditures that we need to look more closely at, apparently.
Because, at the end of the day--I just want us to work collaboratively if we can, more openly and transparently, and without the personal attacks we are sustaining when we have genuine disagreements with the Sheriff. That is my goal.