The Tehachapi Unified School District, city of Tehachapi and Tehachapi Police Department are close to linking an agreement for a school resource officer for the coming academic year.
More than four months have gone by in discussing the memorandum of understanding for the position for the 2018-2019 school year. The previous year’s contract expired June 30.
Changes to the contract indemnity and insurance language have been made and now the school board has come to a consensus on sending the contract to Self Insured Schools of California for review.
“The agreement calls for the school district and SISC to take on broader responsibilities of indemnification of the SRO portion," said Robert Kretzmer, director of property and liability for SISC.
He added, "This particular agreement is outside the norm from other agreements with agencies we usually contract with for SRO services."
The new document has not been released by the city or the school district as it's still being reviewed by legal counsel.
It is likely to be brought before the City Council at an upcoming meeting for consideration, said Ashley Whitmore, deputy clerk for the city of Tehachapi.
Details of changes within the contract have been discussed at school board meetings.
At the July 3 meeting, TUSD director of personnel Tim Beard said the changes that have to still be approved by SISC on July 19 meant that instead of more than $1 million for insurance, it would be raised to $3.5 million.
This policy will cost the district $9,000 annually for coverage.
"If something did happen, we wouldn't want to be sitting out there without any coverage," Beard said.
The previous year’s 2017-2018 contract states the duties of the SRO officer include participating to help youths in drug prevention programs, initiating emergency protocols, providing law enforcement visibility on campuses, training personnel, and other duties.
The school district would reimburse the Tehachapi Police Department for 70 percent of the salary within 10 months for the designated officer. In the past, there has been only one school resource officer visiting all TUSD campuses.
The Tehachapi Police Department so far has not commented on the new contract or when it is likely to be considered at a City Council meeting.