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City Might Fund Armed Officer at Los Al High

In wake of the Sandy Hook shootings, officials will consider spending $95,000 to help pay about half the cost of a school resource officer.

Los Alamitos leaders will decide whether police should go back to class.

On Tuesday night, the City Council will consider paying for an armed school resource officer at Los Alamitos High School.

A school resource officer is a law enforcement official assigned to a school or number of schools. Los Alamitos High had one before budget cuts claimed the position.

The proposal comes as Los Alamitos Unified School District officials look for ways to increase safety in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead in Newtown, Conn.

Staff recommends Los Al leaders pay for half the costs of the officer position – about $95,000 of the estimated $190,000 annual cost for salary, benefits, training and equipment, according to the staff report.

Under the proposed agreement, Seal Beach would pay 25 percent of the cost of the position and the district would pay 25 percent. City Manager Angie Avery said she thinks the officer could start work by the new school year in September.

The agenda item comes after district board President David Boyer sent a letter to the Los Al council Jan. 24 asking them for their support.

“In light of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Connecticut late last year, the need for dedicated officers for students’ safety and security is paramount,” Boyer wrote. “Given our escalating concerns over student safety and recommendations of the (district’s) Violence Prevention and Response Task Force, we respectfully request your assistance in acquiring two SROs to provide additional safety for our students.”

“This is a work in progress,” Boyer said, “but we believe this is an essential first step to ensuring the continued safety of our students.”

The district has sought funding for two SRO positions – one at the high school and one to move throughout the other schools.

However, after a February meeting between Los Al staff, Los Al police, the district superintendent, the Seal Beach city manager and the Seal Beach police captain, “we agreed that our time could most effectively be spent focusing on the funding and duties of a single SRO that would serve Los Alamitos High School,” said City Manager Avery in the staff report.

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Vicki Ferguson February 19, 2013 at 03:32 PM
I don't understand why school supervision used to have classified workers, that actually got to know the children by name, by trouble makers , and by areas that kids went off to creat problems etc, were reduced in hours . All of a sudden it's uniformed officers @ $190,000 a year. I have seen same thing happen in Long Beach with up to 4 officers per high school. Extremely expensive. Bring back the classified workers before you do such an expensive change.
enea ostrich February 19, 2013 at 07:05 PM
Well why don't we just make a siege for all schools in this country and require everyone to have a mental exam, a background check and an idea proving it all to boot? No way, ridiculous. Puh-lease have common sense. This is not NAZI Germany!
sandra stonehill April 06, 2013 at 08:07 PM
I'm curious...Sandy Hook was an elementary school.....why is the High school getting the armed guard ??

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