Champaign wants another school resource officer

Champaign wants another school resource officer

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school district wants to hire another school resource officer.

The district currently has police officers at each of its middle schools and high schools, but Columbia Center does not have a full-time officer. The officer at Edison Middle School spends part of his time at Columbia.

Citing safety concerns following school shootings across the country in the last several months, the district is asking for an additional officer to be assigned to Columbia Center full-time. The school board will consider the matter at its meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at Robeson Elementary School, 2501 Southmoor, C.

The officer would begin work either later this spring or at the start of the school year next fall, said Patricia Lewis, who is overseeing achievement and pupil services on an interim basis.

The school district would pay the recurring costs for the officer, including salary and benefits. The city would pay one-time costs, including uniforms, equipment and training costs.

The estimated cost to the school district is $219,458 for the remainder of this year and the next two fiscal years. The estimated recurring cost for the district for the 2007-08 fiscal year is $106,708, and $112,750 for the following year.

The estimated cost to the city for one-time costs this year and next year is $54,198.

The officer's salary for next year is projected to be $61,626. Lewis said the district would hire an officer with at least 10 years' experience.

If approved, the officer will have to complete 40 hours of school resource officer training, attend diversity training, and attend 30 hours of training in a behavior intervention program used by the district.