Coconut Creek and Broward County School Board close to SRO agreement
Broward County, Florida – The City of Coconut Creek and the School Board of Broward County are close to reaching an agreement concerning the provision and financing of school resource officer (SRO) services for the academic year 2022/2023.
The city’s governing commission is set to review and potentially endorse an agreement this Thursday. This arrangement would secure the city’s reimbursement for the deployment of SROs throughout the upcoming school term.
Twelve SROs are currently stationed across Coconut Creek’s public schools, with every institution benefiting from the presence of at least one officer. Lyons Creek Middle School, Coconut Creek High School, and Monarch High School each have two SROs on site.
At present, the city deploys officers from its police department to the schools, a service for which the school board traditionally repays the city. For a considerable part of the past academic year, however, Coconut Creek, along with other municipalities such as Coral Springs, did not have an active contract with the school board.
Despite the contractual hiatus, the city sustained its provision of SROs to every public school throughout the academic year. In August, then-Superintendent Vicki Cartwright pledged to establish a contract following the approval of the Secure the Next Generation referendum. This measure aims to bolster funding for initiatives related to school safety and security, among other objectives.
However, negotiations reached a stalemate and remained dormant until January. Discussions resumed and persisted until March, when the lack of a contract became a pressing issue.
Bob Mayersohn, President of the Broward League of Cities, and Christopher O’Brien, President of the Broward County Chiefs of Police Association, fervently urged the school board to act during a workshop on March 28. Following their pleas, the board agreed during their April 11 meeting to increase the reimbursement per SRO from $61,200 to $103,000 annually.
The proposed contract is set to remain in effect until June 8, albeit with an extension until August 11 for two educational institutions: Atlantic Technical College and the Dave Thomas Education Center. If approved, the contract will guarantee the city a reimbursement of $1,236,000 through June 8, and an incrementally increased amount of $1,277,200 through August 11.