School board votes to hire school resource officers

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URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — The school board approved an intergovernmental agreement to hire two full-time resource officers. One will be added to the middle school and another to the high school.

The Urbana Police Department will reassign two patrol officers to fill the positions. They’ve already chosen one who began working as the full-time SRO at the middle school in September. The full-time high school SRO hasn’t been assigned yet. The police chief says that person could start the new role early next year.

This will cost around $325,000 per year including insurance, benefits, pension, vehicles, equipment and salary. The police department said the intergovernmental agreement would last for about 2.5 years.

Not everyone was in favor of the idea. The board spent hours debating if this was a beneficial idea or not. About 15 people spoke at public comment against it. Parents were concerned about student safety. One said more guns aren’t solving the problem. Another said officers with loaded weapons could decrease positive school culture.

This isn’t a done deal yet. The city also has to approve it. That decision will be made at the beginning of next month.

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