By David Fleet
.- By a 6-0 vote on Monday night the township board of trustees agreed to split the cost of the police liaison officer for the 2017-18 school year. Township Treasurer Terri Darnall was absent from the meeting.
Terms of agreement between the Brandon Schools and the township will include $21,243.77 for Sept. 5, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2017 and $30,937.74 for Jan. 1, 2018 to June 15, 2018 for a total contractual cost of $52,181.51 plus overtime which exceeds 20 hours. The cost for the school liaison officer is $131,509, of which the school district had reimbursed the township $94,693, for the time the officer is in the Brandon schools during the school year.
The township contracts with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office annually for 12 deputies for a total budgeted cost in 2016 of $1,954,649.
At the township board’s Feb. 6 meeting, District Superintendent Matt Outlaw and School Board President Kevin McClellan formally asked for help from the township.
Outlaw emphasized that the district values the school liaison officer, but couldn’t continue the current funding level. If the township had not accepted the 50-50 split proposed by the district, it would have ended the district’s partnership with the OCSO.
“We are excited to continue to use the Oakland County Sheriff in the district,” said Outlaw. “They have been outstanding for us, it’s a very important position for the district. By forming positive relationships with students, the hope is that crime can be diminished in the community and also be kept out of the schools.”
On a daily basis, the police liaison helps with supervision, shares information with the administrative team, helps to coordinate police presence at events and assists with traffic control.
OCSO Lt. Greg Glover, Brandon substation commander, said the school liaison officer is a win-win situation.
“It’s a great deal for the district,” said Glover. “If this 50-50 split had not passed the district would have hired a security guard to walk the halls of the school. They have no authority—just a hall monitor. The deputies would then have had to respond to the calls in the school district. We have a very good working relationship with the school. The liaison position benefits the entire community.”
Kathy Thurman, township supervisor said the job of the liaison officer has changed over the years.