BROOKE COUNTY, W.VA. (WTRF) — A contract between Brooke County Commission and the Board of Ed left the schools planned to pay $450,000 over a span of three years for school resource officers. But the Board is now rethinking that move.
The reassessment of a voted agreement in light of the unforseen pandemic could mean panning this cost on to county commissioners – which has left some holes.
The funding is there. Keep the agreement that we’ve had to keep these officers employed and keep the officers in these schools.Tim Ennis, President of Brooke County Commission
After a levy passed to fund Brooke County School Resource Officers, through primarily taxes, the Board of Ed is saying they shouldn’t have to pay the four officers when school is out of session. There are no students to keep in line.
I don’t think it’s fair to the school district to continue to pay for services we’re not even receiving.Dr. Jeffrey Crook, Superintendent of Brooke County Schools
But Sheriff Larry Palmer responded today, calling for commissioners to not quote, ‘pawn this off on us.’
The Sheriff’s Department said while yes, school is out, deputies were there sending meals to kids, and those four officers could help in other ways. The chief then chiming in to say quote, ‘to prorate our officers, that statement is absolutely ridiculous.’
Deputy sheriffs in West Virginia are not seasonal employees. They’re fulltime employees. So, when the board of education approached us 18 months ago about hiring additional officers to be put in the schools, they were very aware that these were fulltime employees and they would be responsible for paying the entire cost. Now, because of the Covid pandemic, they want to prorate the officers. And, we can’t have that. We can’t shift the cost from the board of education to the county commission.Tim Ennis, President of Brooke County Commission
Now, Commissioners don’t want to step on toes, so they’re hoping to meet with Brooke County Board of Ed President, Dr. Theodore Pauls and workout the discrepancies ASAP since school will be starting soon and deputies will be assigned. So, we wait