By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon
Midwest City High School has another school resource officer.
The City of Midwest City and Mid-Del Schools approved an agreement to add a second SRO at Midwest City High School for the remainder of the school year. The city now provides two officers at Midwest City High School and one at Carl Albert High School.
The school district covers 70% of the officers’ salaries with the city covering the additional 30%.
Mid-Del will pay the city an additional $25,482.6 for the third SRO and a total of $178,378.20 for the 2023-24 school year. The officers will be reassigned during the summer months.
The city council approved the contract at the Oct. 24 meeting.
Councilmember Susan Eads asked if the school district could use bond funds to pay for a school resource officer. Councilmember Rick Dawkins, a former principal, said the bond funds are dedicated and could not be used for other purposes.
City Manager Tim Lyon said he understands the concerns about additional costs, but believes additional officers is a positive for the school and city.
“It does come at a cost to the city. This is not free to the city or the taxpayer,” Lyon said. “Schools pay 70% and we get the employee during the summer. We can put them in the parks or patrol or multiple flex things.”
Officers at the schools can respond to emergencies off campus if needed.
“When we have a very serious incident like the Rose State (shooting) last May, everyone that works the schools and banks all came over and because of that we were able to secure the facility very quickly,” said Chief Sid Porter.
The school district is looking to expand its SRO program in the future. Porter said they would like to have two officers at both Carl Albert and Midwest City high schools as well as both middle schools.
Dawkins commended the SRO program for improving security at schools and building positive relationships with students.
Officer Matthew Gates is the new SRO at Midwest City High School. He started working at the school last week. Gates has worked for the police department for a couple years and previously worked in education at Star-Spencer schools.
Sgt. Sean Anderman is the other SRO at the school.