By Bryan Boggiano
The school board and Coconut Creek City Commission have approved a contract addressing school resource officer (SRO) services just two weeks before the last day of school.
The commission approved the agreement on May 25, which covers SRO services and pay for the 2022/2023 school year.
Negotiations for a three-year deal are ongoing.
However, one major accomplishment of the contract is it reimburses the city for providing SRO services to public schools.
Throughout the school year, cities throughout the county, including neighboring Coral Springs, did not have a contract with the school board. They approved a contract with the school board on May 17.
Despite this, the city maintained SROs at each public school throughout the school year.
In August, then-Superintendent Vicki Cartwright promised to have a contract after the passage of the Secure the Next Generation referendum, which increases funding for school safety and security, among other initiatives.
Negotiations stalled and did not resume until January. They continued through March when the absence of a contract reached a boiling point.
At a March 28 school board workshop, Broward League of Cities President Bob Mayersohn and Broward County Chiefs of Police Association President Christopher O’Brien implored the board to take action.
At their April 11 meeting, the board agreed to reimburse cities $103,000 per SRO per year, up from the previous $61,200.
For Coconut Creek, the city can expect a total reimbursement of $1,236,000 through June 8 for its 12 SROs. Each school has at least one. Lyons Creek Middle School, Coconut Creek High School, and Monarch High School have two.
Although the new contract would run through June 8, two schools, Atlantic Technical College and the Dave Thomas Education Center, will have an SRO through August 11.
The city’s total reimbursement increases to $ 277,200 through the summer.
Vice Mayor Sandra Welch moved to approve the contract. Commissioner John Brodie seconded, and it passed unanimously.
- A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan plans to pursue geosciences at Florida International University for his master's. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.
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