School Resource Officer Millage Proposal
VIDEO: An Overview of the School Resource Officer Millage Proposal
In November 2018, Midland County voters overwhelmingly approved a millage proposal that levies a 0.4 mill for 4 years (2018-2021) to fund the placement of seven (7) School Resource Officers into all Midland County school districts. There is no cost to the schools for this program.
The Millage Proposal
- Provides 7 school resource officers to all Midland County public secondary schools
- Levies a 0.4 mill to all Midland County residents from 2018-2021
- Generates $1.3 million in the first year for start-up costs (personnel, vehicles, equipment, etc.)
- County would absorb costs for 2 current school resource officers working in Midland Public Schools
The full ballot language:
“Shall the limitation on the total amount of general ad valorem taxes which may be imposed for all purposes upon real and personal property in Midland County be increased by a total levy of up to .4 mill ($.40 per $1,000.00) of taxable valuation, as finally equalized, for levy in the years 2018 through 2021, both inclusive, as provided in Article 9, Section 6, Michigan Constitution of 1963, as amended, for the purpose of assigning licensed law enforcement officers from the Midland County Sheriff’s Office and the Midland City Police Department as School Resource Officers to Midland County public schools (Midland Public, Meridian, Bullock Creek and Coleman) who will provide school security and law enforcement, and facilitate educational liaison between students, school staff, law enforcement officers, and the community which if approved and levied in its entirety is estimated to raise $1,343,531 in the first year?
Since the 2009-2010 school year, the Midland Police Department has provided 2 SROs to Midland Public Schools. Through this millage, an additional officer was added at each Midland Public Schools middle school and 3 Midland County Sheriff's Office deputies were added as SROs to Midland County schools.
This breakdown includes:
- Bullock Creek Schools (1)
- Coleman Community Schools (1)
- Meridian Public Schools (1)
- Midland Public Schools (4)
- H.H. Down High School
- Midland High School
- Jefferson Middle School
- Northeast Middle School
VIDEO: Why Did Schools Want SROs?
The School Resource Officer program has been in place in Midland and Dow High Schools since the 2009-2019 school year. Hear from Principals Jeff Jaster (Midland High School) and Dr. Steve Poole (Dow High School) about their experiences with the program.
What is a School Resource Officer (SRO)?
According to the National Association of School Resource Officers, an SRO is “a law enforcement officer with sworn authority who is deployed by their employing police department or agency in a community-oriented assignment to work in one or more schools”. SROs also receive additional special training before working in their schools.
Job Duties of a School Resource Officer
Most often, SROs take on a mentoring role with their students: serving as a positive role model, fostering positive relationships between youth and police, helping with problem solving, and providing a safe and supportive environment. However, as a licensed law enforcement officer, SROs have the training and authority to act and protect students and staff in emergency situations.
Common benefits seen by schools who employ School Resource Officers include:
- Increases feelings of safety among students and staff
- Encourages a positive relationship between youth and law enforcement
- Prevents or minimizes property damage in schools and surrounding areas
- Prevents student injuries and even death due to violence, drug overdoses, etc.
- Reduces 911 emergency calls from schools
- Reduces likelihood that a student will be arrested
VIDEO: What Does An SRO Do?
Want to know what a day in the life of an SRO is like? Meet Officers Eddie Hinson (Midland High School) and Brian Soule (Dow High School) and hear more about what they bring to their school environments.
SRO Millage Frequently Asked Questions
Why are seven (7) officers proposed for this program?
The National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) recommends 1 SRO be employed for each 1,000 students. To achieve this ratio, 7 officers are needed, including one at each MPS high school and middle school.
How much is this going to cost me?
This proposal will levy 0.4 mill over the next four years (2018-2021). An average homeowner with a $150,000 home, for example, will pay $30 per year as a result of this millage.
Will City of Midland residents be paying twice for the existing SROs if this proposal passes?
No. While it's true that the City of Midland budget currently includes two SROs for Midland Public Schools, City residents will not be "charged twice" for the existing officers. As a result of the millage being passed, Midland County will absorb the full cost of all SROs and the City of Midland will amend its 2018-2019 budget to offset the cost.
Can each school district vote separately for SROs instead of a county-wide proposal?
No. By law, the election cannot be split by school district, so the proposal must appear on all Midland County ballots.
When will the officers begin working in the schools?
Midland Police Department officers could begin in Midland Public Schools on January 1, 2019. Midland County Sheriff’s Office deputies could be available as early as September 2019 in Midland County secondary schools.
Are other funding sources available to support this program, such as grants?
The City and County of Midland will take advantage of every opportunity for additional funding sources. If additional funding is found, the millage would be updated to reflect this.
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