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CUSD, police split costs of officer program

CARLSBAD — City Council agreed on a memorandum of understanding between splitting the costs of its SRO (School Resource Officer) Program. 

The expenses to fund this program are divided between the Carlsbad Unified School District and Carlsbad Police Department.

“The school district is billed yearly for the services of the officers and they pay at the end of the billing period,” said Lt. Kelly Cain of the Carlsbad Police Department. Cain also oversees the SRO Program and pointed out that the program has been in effect for quite a few years.

“This is an agreement between the district and the Carlsbad Police Department to provide officers on Carlsbad Unified campuses for law enforcement purposes,” said Cain, noting that these are not DARE officers and they do not act as counselors. “The officers handle the calls for service on campus and act as a direct resource for the administrators.”

The Carlsbad Police Department does budget for the SRO Program.

For the 2011-12 school year, which lasted nine-months, the cost of the SRO Program totaled $274, 116. At the end of this school year, the district’s fiscal responsibility was to pay $137,058 back to the city.

The monies will be rerouted to the city’s General Fund.

To date, the school district has three officers who work full time at the Carlsbad Police Department.

Cain explained that the officers have specific daily assignments. This includes one full-time police officer at Carlsbad High School, one full-time officer at the continuation high school of Carlsbad Village Academy and another full-time officer to monitor and patrol the remaining elementary and junior high campuses in the city.

Officer responsibilities vary. Cain said some of these calls include parking and traffic complaints, collisions, reports of fights on campus, assaults, security at sporting events and more.

“Officer presence at the schools allows for the officers’ responses to incidents to be extremely short in comparison with regular patrol officers, who would have to respond from their beat areas,” said Cain, adding that the presence of uniformed officers on campus acts as a good deterrent.