- Associated Press - Friday, June 6, 2014

LIVINGSTON, La. (AP) - The Livingston Parish School Board has voted to renew a contract with sheriff’s office to provide five sheriff’s deputies to serve as school resource officers.

Sheriff Jason Ard tells The Advocate (https://bit.ly/1rQPThi ) the contract renewal, which must be signed by July 1 to avoid a lapse, includes the same basic terms as the initial contract that was signed last year.

The initial contract called for the school board to reimburse the sheriff’s office about $212,500 each year for half the annual cost of the five deputies.

Ard said the contract will be changed to clarify that juveniles cannot be arrested for policy violations unless a law has been broken.

The school board approved the contract at Thursday night’s meeting.

Assistant Superintendent Rick Wentzel said the resource officers, who are commissioned law enforcement officers assigned to provide security for a school or group of schools, have been a welcome addition to the district’s campuses.

“Their presence, mentoring the kids, is the most important thing, and I want to thank you for allowing that to continue because it has been very important to our schools,” Wentzel told Ard.

Ard said recent evaluations of the school resource officer program brought many compliments from school officials.

“The only complaint I get is that we don’t have enough of them,” Ard said. “Other than that, things are going really well.”

In addition to the five sheriff’s deputies, the district also has two officers from the Denham Springs and Walker police departments who serve as school resource officers on the campuses within those cities.


Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com

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