Plan to put more school resource officers in Wentzville schools -

Plan to put more school resource officers in Wentzville schools advances

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The Wentzville Board of Aldermen moved forward with a plan to put more school resource officers in schools.

The Wentzville School District has six SROs for their 12 schools in Wentzville. There are additional SRO's through O'Fallon and Lake Saint Louis for the other schools in WSD.  The high schools have permanent officers, while the others rotate between the rest of the schools. After the Parkland School shooting, two Wentzville aldermen came up with an idea to see what the city could do to add more officers.

After several months of planning, the board presented a plan. It would cost $180,017 to add two additional SROs. The city of Wentzville would pay 60 percent of the cost, which comes out to $108,010 to the school district’s 40 percent.

Right now, the current cost share for the six SROs is shared with 33 percent from the city and 67 percent from the school district. Then, they propose adding an additional officer each year for the next two years.

“This is all about public safety,” said Mayor Nick Guiccione.

The mayor said the additional funds would likely come from the general budget, but said things are still in the discussion phase and that the school district could come up with another plan.

“I’d like to have 20 more school resource officers but that’s not feasible for the city. We have other issues like speeding. But this is a way of being proactive,” he said.

The school district said they couldn’t yet comment of the city’s proposal.

“Our Board of Education and the Wentzville Board of Aldermen have held two joint meetings over the last year where school safety has been a topic of discussion and we are certainly willing to work with the City of Wentzville towards their goal of having additional officers in our schools,” said the school district spokesperson.

The next step is for the school board to look at the city’s plan and then the two entities can make a decision.

The mayor said a decision could be made by the start of the school year but Wentzville Police Chief Kurt Frisz says any additional SROs would have to be new hires for the police department. He said the officers would not be taken from the current force.

That means it would take time to hire and train. But he said if the plan moves forward, it would be feasible for the second semester.

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