On Tuesday evening, the Board of Education approved the SRO program for the Milford schools and funding for two of the four positions. The next step is to obtain funding for the other two SRO positions via the city budget.
At a special joint meeting with the Board of Aldermen Tuesday, the school board voted to find $150,000 for the cost of the four positions. Schools Operations Director James L. Richetelli Jr. said funds would come from an account containing money earned from energy savings.
The Police Department will pull together $150,000 this year and for the future in several ways:
– Using money generated from traffic tickets for drivers who illegally pass school buses. The aldermen in March approved allowing the installation of cameras on school buses to catch violators. Mello estimated this would generate $50,000 per year.
– A new $10 charge for fingerprinting for those who need background checks.
– Raising by 1 percent the cost of hiring off-duty police officers, and by 5 percent the cost of hiring officers for traffic duty. This is expected to generate up to $40,000 yearly.
– The school officers will patrol downtown during the summer. That will allow the department to save $30,000 per year.
– Mello said the federal government is offering $155 million in three-year grants to fund SROs, and he expects to apply for the money.
Also at Tuesday’s school board meeting, Milford Prevention Council Director Wendy Gibbons said her organization, which educates about the dangers of drugs and alcohol use, might be able to donate a small amount.
The aldermen will meet Monday night to discuss changing its budget to accommodate hiring the SROs.