Monroe County approves additional resource officers for school districts

·2 min read
Monroe County Sheriff Deputy Ryan Sottile, who serves as the school resource officer (SRO) at Airport High School, helps junior Aiden Self (right) tie his tie prior to the school's coming home dance last March. Self's friends Chase Johnson and Wade Cline look on. Airport is adding a second SRO for the 2022-'23 school year.
Monroe County Sheriff Deputy Ryan Sottile, who serves as the school resource officer (SRO) at Airport High School, helps junior Aiden Self (right) tie his tie prior to the school's coming home dance last March. Self's friends Chase Johnson and Wade Cline look on. Airport is adding a second SRO for the 2022-'23 school year.

Three additional school districts in Monroe County will be patrolled by Monroe County Sheriff's deputies this upcoming school year, and one district will have a second officer on duty after county commissioners unanimously approved the requests last week.

Ida Public, Jefferson, and Mason Consolidated Schools have all entered into three-year agreements with the county to have School Resource Officers (SROs) stationed within their districts starting this fall, while Airport Community Schools will now have two.

In a letter to the county commissioners, Monroe County Sheriff Troy Goodnough said that all four districts' boards of education have already approved the contracts.

"The funding plan to pay the costs associated with each school resource officer will come from each school district paying 66.6% of the total employee cost and the County of Monroe paying the remaining share of 33.4%," Goodnough wrote. "This cost-sharing arrangement allocates costs for the school and Sheriff’s Office based on the time the deputy is assigned to the school or assigned to the Sheriff’s Office and duties not related to a school resource officer.

"The addition of these deputy positions will greatly enhance the safety of the student body, as well as staff and guests at each school district. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office supports entering into these agreements as part of our mission to provide law enforcement services in our communities."

The maximum cost the county will incur for these four additional SROs in 2022 is $77,978. Goodnough wrote that it is currently not known if his office's budget can absorb the full cost of the county's share for these additional officers.

"As other operational costs including fleet gasoline and food costs have impacted the budget, we want to be clear that we cannot assure you we can cover these increased operational costs and the new SRO positions," he wrote. "We will continue to endeavor to save expenditures where we can however, at year-end, if there are not sufficient funds to cover the additional officers, (it may be necessary) that a supplemental appropriation is made to the Sheriff’s Office budget to cover any projected cost center shortfall.

Goodnough also wrote that the sheriff's office will need additional funding to cover its obligation to the SRO agreements as the county plans for its 2023 budget.

This article originally appeared on The Monroe News: More resource officers approved for Monroe County school districts