Miami County expanding School Resource Officer program

Local News

MIAMI COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – Miami County schools will see more law enforcement officials on campus next school year as more school districts are requesting full-time school resource officer positions.

Miami County Sheriff, Dave Duchak, said they have never had five full-time SROs, but with the partnership with both the schools and the county, next year it will be a reality.

Since 2002, Miami County Sheriff’s Office has employed school resource officers, but in some cases, they have had to split their time between school districts.

That is, until next year.

“We’ll now have full time SROs at Milton-Union, Bethel, Miami East, Newton and the Upper Valley Career Center,” said Duchak.

Duchak added they are already seeing a lot of interest in the new position.

“We put it out to our tenured deputies to see who’s interested in that position, and then a selection is made, and we’ll have to hire a replacement to backfill for that deputy,” said Duchak.

Our partners at the Troy Daily News reported that 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.

TDN said Milton-Union also approved a three-year, full-time contract at a meeting last month.

The county’s portion of the deputies’ salaries is about $107,150, as well as uniforms, cruisers and equipment.

Duchak said it is a big investment on the school and county’s accounts, but that it’s worth it.

He said not only do the SROs monitor for safety, but they present different programs and instruction curriculum throughout the year.

“And then the interaction with the kids to hopefully put down some of the barriers that sometimes exist between law enforcement and kids,” said Duchak. “So they’re not so much afraid of officers and are used to seeing them and not being afraid to approach them.”‘

Duchak said the school districts will pay for the positions nine months out of the year, with the county picking up the tab for the three summer months.

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