On Tuesday, Superintendent of the Plymouth Community School Corporation, Mitch Mawhorter presented the school board with a Memorandum of Understanding between PCSC and the Plymouth Police Department for school resource officers.
Mawhorter said he and Ted Brown, the corporation’s Director of Safety and Security, met with Plymouth Police Chief Dave Bacon and City Attorney Sean Surrisi and discusses the addition of a second school resource officer (SRO) and update the current agreement. The superintendent said, “The agreement requests a slight hike in the cost due to the addition of a second officer as well as the rising cost of keeping police officers in Plymouth. The second officer will not be able to start until all the training of the new officers is completed.”
The superintendent told the school board the Plymouth Police Department doesn’t currently have adequate staff to provide a second resource officer however the police department contemplates attaining adequate staffing to make the assignment of a second school resource officer during the term of the MOU. This is a two-year agreement.
The new agreement is written to reflect a pro-rated amount for when that officer will start. Mawhorter said half of the corporations’ cost is covered by the Safety Grant and with that recommended approval of the agreement.
Compensation in the agreement is $50,000 for the first officer, who is contracted to be Bridget Hite. The school corporation will pay $278.00 daily for the second officer when they begin their assignment. The MOU states that Officer Hite has successfully completed the minimum training requirements established for law enforcement officers under the Indiana Code.
While on duty as a school resource officer, they have the power to make an arrest, conduct a search and seizure of a person or property using the reasonable suspicion standard, carry a firearm on or off school property, and exercise other police powers with respect to the enforcement of Indiana laws. The duties of the school resource officer (SRO) are to assist the school’s Director of Safety and Security with the development and implementation of a school safety plan that (1) protects against outside threats to the physical safety of students, (2) prevents unauthorized access to school property and (3) secures schools against violence and natural disasters. SROs will consult with local law enforcement officials and first responders when assisting the Director of Safety in the development of the school safety plan. They also have the responsibility to perform any other necessary and proper tasks as designated by the police department or the school.
The Plymouth School Board unanimously approved the MOU with the Plymouth Police Department.