By Oliver Lazenby
The Blaine school district is working toward getting a full-time school police officer for the 2018-2019 school year.
At an April 23 school board meeting, the board approved the city of Blaine’s estimate for supplying a full-time school resource officer and requested a formal contract from the city.
The district currently funds a half-time school resource officer position.
The city estimated that training, equipping and paying for a full-time officer will cost $87,000. The school district will pay 75 percent, or $65,265, and the city will pay the rest.
“The city feels, just like the school district, that it would be beneficial to have a more consistent officer present in the schools to interact with the students,” said interim city manager Michael Jones.
The district expects the officer would be on campus eight hours a day during the school year.
“The expectation is that this individual would be proactively interacting with students throughout the day,” school district superintendent Ron Spanjer said at the meeting. “This isn’t just someone wandering the sidewalk.”
As of now, the school board doesn’t know where money for that position will come from. Board members will discuss that in the budget planning process; the first budget work session is scheduled for Wednesday, May 23.
New electronic door locks
The board also approved $200,000 for an electronic door locking system at its April 23 meeting.
The district plans to purchase a new system of electronically locking doors that would allow all the doors or individual doors to be locked from a main computer, which the district’s current system doesn’t allow. The new system would be in place next school year.
The district’s current electronic door locking system is 14 years old and replacement parts aren’t available anymore, according to a memo presented at the meeting.
The school district plans to upgrade locking system at all district schools, including Point Roberts Primary School.