City council discusses SRO position funding

With the potential decrease in financial assistance for the school resource officer position, the Susanville City Council provided direction to Police Chief Kevin Jones to continue looking into funding opportunities.

During the Wednesday, April 7 meeting,  Jones provided an update regarding the school resource officer position.

“Over the last couple of years we have funded the disparity of what it costs us to keep an officer there, compared to what the high school gives us,” said Jones.

Jones said the city and school district are in the final year of its current agreement. However, Jones said the school administration noted it was discussing reducing it’s financial contribution.

According to the staff report, “LUHS has notified the city that they would like to continue the SRO program but they are considering reducing their budget for the program from $70,000 to $40,000 for the 2021/22 school year. The officer currently assigned to this position is an estimated cost of $130,000 per year.”

Jones said he’s reached out to Susanville School District to gauge their interest, but said they were not interested at this point.

In the past, the SRO position was substantially supported by the Tobacco Grant, however, the city is not receiving the Tobacco Grant funding next fiscal year.

“It’s going to be tough. We’re coming in to, as you all know, deficit years. To take on another $30,000 would be very hard,” the chief said.

During the meeting, some on the board questioned if the position remains with the loss of the Tobacco grant funding.

Jones said he would ask the council to retain the position, and said he would look at the position’s outline when it was created.

Additionally, others on the board noted they believed the position was important to retain.

Jones said he would meet again with Lassen Union High School administration to discuss the position.