Mill Creek Beacon - Your Hometown News Source

By Madeline Coats
Editor, Mill Creek Beacon 

New agreement puts additional school resource officer at Heatherwood

City and school district work together to continue program at Jackson

 

September 20, 2019

Beacon photo by Madeline Coats

The school resource officer in charge of Jackson parks his police vehicle in front of the school and helps promote student safety.

The City of Mill Creek and Everett Public Schools are working together to continue the interlocal cooperative agreement for the school resource officer (SRO) program.

The two entities have partnered in cost-sharing for a SRO program since 1996. The program has traditionally placed a Mill Creek Police Department (MCPD) officer at Jackson High School with additional duties at Heatherwood Middle School to help promote student, staff, and public safety in the schools. 

There have been several interlocal agreements since 1996, the most recent expiring on Aug. 31, 2019. The agreement commenced Sept. 1 and runs through Aug. 31, 2022.

With the start of the new school year, the school district wanted to provide funding for a second SRO to serve Heatherwood Middle School, in addition to the one at Jackson. The cost of both officers will be shared by the City and the district.

"It's a win-win all the way around," Chief of Police Greg Elwin said. "It took us a while to get here, but we had some great work done with the school district to get us to this point."

For the 2019-20 school year, Everett Public Schools will pay the City a total of $218,764 for the SRO program at Jackson High School and Heatherwood Middle School. Both SROs will also assist, as necessary and available, staff and students at Mill Creek Elementary.

The selection of the second SRO will be made by the City in consultation with the school district and it is intended that the SRO be at the designated schools on days that school is in session. The interlocal agreement provides additional specific details regarding staffing and attendance, and this information is also included in the SRO handbook.

An SRO's primary duty is that of a uniformed law enforcement officer. There will be occasions when an officer will be confronted with situations of student misconduct that is less than a criminal violation, according to the City Council agenda summary.

"This sets us up to provide a good service. It's good for the community. It's good for the students," Elwin said. "It's good for the officers to have another opportunity to do something with their peers and have different experiences.

The Everett Public Schools board of directors approved the new SRO agreement between the district and the City of Mill Creek for 2019-22 at their meeting Sept. 10.

 

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