MIAMI COUNTY — Next year, the Miami County Sheriff’s Office will provide five full-time school resource officers to area schools.
Meeting with the county commissioners recently, Sheriff Dave Duchak said the department has never had five full-time SROs.
Both Bethel and Milton-Union schools currently have part-time school resources officers and both districts have requested a full-time officer next school year. The same deputy has been working in both districts this school year.
At a meeting last month, Bethel’s school board approved a three-year contract with a first year cost of $64,290, increasing to $66,219 in 2020-21 and $68,148 in the 2021-22 school year. Milton-Union also approved a three-year, full-time contract at a meeting last month.
Duchak said all five school districts’ contracts will have the same duration. The sheriff’s office also provides full-time SRO deputies to Miami East and Newton schools, as well as Upper Valley Career Center.
Commissioner Jack Evans asked Duchak if the department will have trouble hiring new deputies to fill the positions. Duchak said that new SROs will be chosen from tenured deputies and new deputies will take over their duties.
“We’ve been getting a lot of applications,” Duchak said.
The sheriff’s office is also hiring new deputies to man security checkpoints in the county courthouse and Safety Building, as well as new corrections officers in order to open another pod at the county’s incarceration facility.
Duchak said the county makes a significant commitment to the SRO program. The county’s portion of the deputies’ salaries is about $107,150, as well as uniforms, cruisers and equipment.
“I think it’s a really good thing. It’s a good program,” he said.
Commissioner Greg Simmons agreed, adding, “We’re making a commitment to the youth of Miami County.”