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Discussions between the City of Taylorsville, the Taylorsville Police Department and Spencer County Schools about adding a school resource officer will continue, with official blessing from the outgoing Taylorsville City Commission.
In the wake of the Dec.14 shootings in Newtown, Conn., Commissioner Nathan Nation asked for the matter of a school resource officer to be put on the agenda for last Thursday afternoon’s special meeting.
The terms of Nation and Commissioner Larry Waldridge end on Dec. 31, and newly-elected commissioners Melissa Ellen Redmon and Jack Proctor will fill those seats, so Nation said Thursday that he didn’t feel it would be right to tie up money right before the new commission is seated, but wanted to keep the issue in the forefront.
Therefore, Nation made a motion to give Chief Toby Lewis the authority to continue discussions with Superintendent Chuck Adams about schools safety and the possibility of having a school resource officer.
Mayor Don Pay seconded the motion.
Commissioner Kathy Spears said that given what she has heard on the news, she believes grant money may soon become available to fund these positions due to the events last week.
Lewis addressed the commission and said one question Adams had presented to him was how, with the district’s five schools, would it be determined which school received the resource officer.
Lewis said his intent would be to have the officer primarily in the middle and high schools, but the officer would be responsible for making weekly visits to each of the schools with no set pattern.
“We wouldn’t want a pattern,” Lewis said.
No figures, in terms of the officer’s salary and how it would be split, were discussed at the city commission meeting, and Lewis said no figures were discussed between him and the superintendent.
Nation said he knew that several of the surrounding counties had resource officers in place.
“We don’t,” Nation said. “We need to get moving with the program.”
Pay thanked Nation for bringing the issue to the commission’s attention.
“Thank you for opening that door,” Pay said. “To ignore that would be wrong.”
All commissioners voted in favor of continuing the discussions between the city and the schools.
In other business:
•The commission approved a $43,000 bid to purchase a sewer jetter for the city.
•The commission voted to ask the city’s staff to compile a comparison of department head salaries and suggested that Public Works Director Harold Compton may be underpaid by as much as $8,000 in comparison to the city’s other department heads.