St. Peter’s and Town’s Schools Agree to Keep Resource Officers | Local news

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ST. PETER – Members of the St. Peter School Board on Monday approved an agreement with the city to retain school resource officers in the district.

The terms of the agreement allow up to two school resource officers, or SROs, in the district between January 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023, according to the contract document.

St. Peter’s Council members have already approved the deal at a meeting on November 22.

It will be the continuation of a long-standing partnership between the city and the district, albeit under different funding conditions.

“Previously, the school was responsible for 60%,” city administrator Todd Prafke said at the council meeting in November. “Now it has been changed to 70% and the city is responsible for 30% of the cost of the job.”

A full-time agent with benefits costs about $ 123,000. Officers will spend approximately 62% of their time working directly on school district issues.

Their described tasks range from patrolling school properties to deter crime to assisting traffic control to serving as a resource on police policies. They are expected to be present during meal times and school programs when possible to build relationships with students, staff and community members.

Although the agreement provides for two school officers, the district noted on its agenda that only one position was filled due to a lack of personnel in the police department. Costs will be prorated based on the number of ORSs and time spent on district duties.

Competing signature campaigns emerged earlier this year, calling for the retention and elimination of PBOs. District leaders subsequently postponed plans to eliminate one of the ORS positions to hire an additional social worker.

Members of the Mankato region school board faced a similar decision in 2020. They opted to remove an officer from a college but retained him in high schools.

At the St. Peter City Council meeting in November, Council member Keri Johnson noted that a slight increase in assaults had occurred during the talks. She asked if the police department could publish statistics on school-related incidents.

Prafke said he would look for ways to separate school-related assaults from other assaults.

The city and district can make changes to the SRO agreement for the following year by April if necessary.

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