Question: What are some options on reallocating funding from the police budget for the school resource officers to DCHS, other departments that may be appropriate, or even redistributed within the police department to include a breakout of all the associated costs? (Councilman Aguirre)
Response: Currently, there are 6 FTEs in the School Resource Officer (SRO) Program, 1 Sergeant and 5 Officers, and they are assigned to TC Williams, TCW Minnie Howard, George Washington Middle School and Francis Hammond Middle School. This staffing level allows APD to perform their responsibilities as outlined with the MOU with the School Board.
Total cost to run the SRO Unit per year = $823,907:
1. Salary = $482,432
2. Benefits = $307,477
3. Vehicles = $31,798 per year (cost of 6 vehicles depreciation each year)
4. Travel / Training = $1,000
5. Office Supplies = $1,000
6. Membership / Subscriptions / Books = $200
These are annual operating costs and do not include one-time costs of approximately $27,000 per employee for uniforms and equipment.
There are a range of options available to Council, depending on whether the MOU with ACPS remains in place:
A. Keep the SRO program intact
B. Consider utilizing some or all of the SRO monies within APD or DCHS:
1. Utilize funding on the new Behavioral Health Program (ACORP) in which two officers are needed to work with a Behavioral Health Specialist (as outlined in the response to 21st Century Safety Models Memo, dated June 23, 2020). This program required 40 hours/week coverage. In addition, after the pilot program it is likely that additional DCHS Behavioral Health Specialists will be needed.
2. Officers are needed in the Community Relations Section to continue to foster Community Engagement within the City; the Community Relations Division has a new approach and needs additional staffing to meet our goal to actively build positive relationships with members of our communities and develop partnerships with all the stakeholders of the City of Alexandria. Examples of these opportunities are:
· More community engagement events
· Child and Youth Outreach
· Mental Health outreach
· Homeless Outreach & assistance
· Food insecurity
C. Consider utilizing some or all of the SRO monies within DCHS (options as requested)
1. Programs (food, rental assistance, job/language training, etc.) as outlined in the Community Recovery Plan and as presented on page 2-13 of the proposed budget.
D. Other options
1. Expenditure options listed in the Alternative Scenario FY22 budget (higher budget listed on page 2-11 of the FY 2022 proposed budget document)
It should be noted that given the 6 positions in the SRO program are filled, the persons in these positions would be reassigned. If all or less than all of the 6 positions are not funded in the FY22 proposed budget, then any person in a position not funded would be retained and APD would use currently vacant positions or future vacant positions to absorb the personnel (i.e., attrition).