Schools consider cost of resource officers

Published 08/14 2013 11:56AM

Updated 08/14 2013 12:02PM

CHAMPAIGN -- The Unit 4 School District is looking into how much school resource officers (SRO) are being paid. The school board decided to renew the contract with five Champaign Police Department officers for the next school year.

The district is responsible for paying two of those salaries. This year, that cost increases to more than $270,000. That's almost $20,000 higher than two years ago.

All five SRO's have been working for the force for at least 15-years each. It means they're at a higher pay scale than newer officers. SRO's started manning the halls of middle- and high-schools in 2006.

The superintendent says she agrees with the board members and their plan to take a closer look. The superintendent says they like having officers who have been in the schools for awhile, because they get to know the students and the community, but board members want to make sure that money is being well-spent.

One of the SRO's is now off for medical reasons, but the other four will return for the first school day on Monday.

The school board also approved another decision involving police. They'll pay for extra officers to stand guard during football and basketball games.

The schools used to have two per game. Now they may have between 4 - 6, depending on the game.

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