Baxter City Council: School resource officer for Forestview approved
BAXTER--Forestview Middle School will have a school resource officer shortly after the Christmas break. Baxter Police Chief Jim Exsted told the city council Tuesday, July 17, the department was excited about the addition. The council approved sta...
BAXTER-Forestview Middle School will have a school resource officer shortly after the Christmas break.
Baxter Police Chief Jim Exsted told the city council Tuesday, July 17, the department was excited about the addition. The council approved starting the hiring process for an entry level patrol officer to fill the opening created by the school officer. The city council accepted the contract with the Brainerd School District for the officer and approved funding for the officer's position to fill the contract.
The school district approached the city about a school resource officer for the middle school in Baxter in early 2018. The new full-time position replaces the existing obligation of one hour per day, according to council documents. The new contract calls for the officer to be at the school eight hours per day when school is in session, up to 173 days for the school year.
In a written report to the council, the police department noted they discussed it internally and were in favor of the district's request and previously hoped the district would approach the city at some point to do it.
"The placement of a full-time (school resource officer) at the school will provide many opportunities for our office to conduct outreach to the 2,000 kids that pass through the school each year. We have always felt we were missing an important opportunity to build rapport, conduct outreach, establish communications and just generally be in touch with young children," the department reported.
The officer's duties will be divided between 75 percent at the school and 25 percent on patrol, with Exsted previously noting those patrol hours will be beneficial during the busiest months for the city between June and August. Expectations are to have a new hire on board about Oct. 1 with the school resource officer starting duties at Forestview on Jan. 2, 2019.
The position comes with increased costs to the city of $43,000 in 2018. The school district agreed to cover $20,000 of the startup costs with the remainder covered by the police department budget. The city reported an increase of $116,300 is estimated to police department expenditures in 2019 for the additional patrol officer with revenues from the school district contract covering $76,900 of that cost and the city picking up the difference of $39,400. The contract equates to $55.91 per hour.
The school resource officer is expected to serve as a liaison between the police department and the school, be a consultant for the board for crime prevention, law enforcement, community youth services, prevent crime on campus, protect students and staff, assist in early intervention with troubled, neglected or abused youths and delinquent behavior, among other duties.