Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office squashes rumor about why school resource officers no longer being provided

Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 5:09 PM CDT
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BIENVILLE PARISH, La. (KSLA) - The Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office announced on Facebook Tuesday, Oct. 5 that it will no longer be providing resource officers to schools in the parish. The sheriff’s office also took the opportunity to squash a rumor about why this change is happening.

The sheriff’s office says as of Nov. 30, it’s terminating its agreement with the Bienville Parish School Board to provide resource officers at the six schools in the parish. The sheriff’s office says rumors are circulating that this is because the sheriff’s office is short on personnel; officials say that’s not true.

“We have a full complement of patrol, narcotics, and criminal investigators and have hired two new deputies with prior law enforcement experience and currently have two deputies in POST training,” the Facebook post states.

Sheriff’s office officials say back in August of 2014, the original agreement stipulated that the school board pay about $133,000 per year for three school resource officers while the sheriff’s office would pay for the other three. The sheriff’s office says now, it’s paying around $638,000 per year, minus the school board’s funding, leaving the sheriff’s office’s share at $505,000 for the 2019-20 school year.

Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office officials say after consulting with other offices, they’ve found that several other north Louisiana school boards are providing 100% funding for school resource officers, and some other are paying around 50%. Officials say the original contract was with Superintendent William Britt and now, a new contract will need to be signed with Superintendent William Wysinger.

The sheriff’s office has proposed a new contract requiring the school board increase its funding to $300,000, which is a little less than half of the total cost of the project.

“It appears that the superintendent is searching for other ways to provide school safety officers and that’s the school board’s prerogative. I am still open to discussion if all else fails but I am quite sure that the sheriff’s office SRO program is the best alternative for the teachers and students of Bienville Parish,” the post reads.

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