NEW HAVEN – Several schools in New Haven will keep their police resource officer, at least for another year.
The New Haven City Council approved an agreement between the city and East Allen County Schools Tuesday to renew the local officers contract for the upcoming school year.
The school has employed a resource officer for the past two school years, primarily for New Haven High School, but he also makes calls to the districts elementary and middle schools in New Haven, Police Chief Stephan Poiry said.
The position was paid for with a $20,000 state grant during each of those years. The department will receive the grant again this year, but it will only be for $14,500, Poiry said.
East Allen County Schools has agreed to make up the difference, he said.
The officers are employed for the entire school day throughout the school year and are not assigned to other police duties except when school is not in session.
EACS has one resource officer position in New Haven and contracts a security officer for the rest of the district.
Although the New Haven High School officer is employed by the police department and receives benefits through the city, EACS pays about $50,000 a year toward the salary, Poiry said. The school is then reimbursed a portion of that through the Indiana Criminal Justice Institutes Safe Haven grants.
In 2011, city police reports show the resource officers at New Haven schools counseled 437 students, prevented 24 fights, made 30 home visits, located 10 truant students and made 34 arrests.
The agreement will conclude next spring and has an added option of either side being able to terminate the agreement with 30 days notice, Poiry said.
Poiry said the police department saves time, gas and money when its no longer called to send officers to the schools for cases the school resource officer can handle.
This is a very beneficial program to our entire community, Poiry said.
Councilman Floyd Ball, R-1st, said that while he liked the program and thought it was very worthwhile, it was a shame that in todays society, it was a necessity.