By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport City Council approved entering into a three year contract with Groveport Madison for the city to provide potentially two Groveport Police officers as school resource officers for the district.
School officials want to improve safety and security in the district’s schools by adding more school resource police officers from local law enforcement agencies.
Groveport Madison previously contracted for one Madison Township officer and one city of Groveport officer to serve as school resource officers.
Recently, the Groveport Madison Board of Education approved a three-year agreement with Madison Township for two Madison Township Police officers to serve as school resource officers. One officer will primarily work at the high school and the other requested officer could work in the district’s other schools in the north side of the district. The school district will cover 70 percent of salary and benefit costs, along with other costs. The township will cover the remaining 30 percent of the officer’s salary.
Under the contract with the city of Groveport, the Groveport Police will provide one officer to serve as a full time school resource officer at the high school and potentially an additional officer to perform duties at the schools on the south side of the district as well as helping at the high school.
The school district will provide 70 percent of the $126,500 total annual cost of the yearly salary, benefits, retirement, and additional costs. The remaining 30 percent is covered by the city.
“We’re trying to increase our collaboration and partnership and with the three year contracts to show our commitment to the city of Groveport and Madison Township,” said Groveport Madison Deputy Superintendent Paul Smathers.
Smathers said the district currently has five of its own security officers and is planning on hiring five more. The plan is to have seven of these security officers at the high school and three others covering the elementaries and middle schools.
Groveport Police Chief Casey Adams said the city will have to hire an additional officer to fill the position and the earliest this officer could be on the job would be the first quarter of 2024. Council is currently considering legislation to increase the number of police officers from 25 to 26.