Simpson Fiscal Court approved first reading of an ordinance approving an interlocal agreement authorizing funding for the school resource officer program in the Simpson County School System on May 16.
The vote for approval was 3-2 in favor, with court members voting the same as they did on May 2 to approve the interlocal agreement.
Voting “yes” for approval were Simpson County Judge Executive Mason Barnes along with magistrates Marty Chandler and Scott Poston. Voting “no” were magistrates Jeffrey Burr and Myron Thurman.
The agreement says the county and City of Franklin will provide $100,000 annually to fund the school resource officer program with the school system funding the remainder of the approximately $400,000 annual cost of the program.
The Simpson County Sheriff’s Office provides five deputy sheriffs for the school resource officer program, which results in a resource officer at each school in the school system.
The 2022 — 2023 school year was the first time a school resource officer was at each school.
The school system uses the funds it receives, and what it also provides for the school resource officer program, to compensate the sheriff’s office for the costs of providing the resource officers.
No discussion was held concerning the vote on May 16. However; following the May 2 meeting Burr said constituents in his west magisterial district wanted him to vote no expressing to him the school system should fund the program. Thurman also voiced concerns about the county providing funding toward the program saying the school system could have funded the program.
Barnes said participation in the agreement must be approved by ordinance resulting in the first reading vote on May 16. Fiscal court’s May 2 approval of the agreement was not done by ordinance.
The ordinance must pass a second reading vote and be published to take effect.
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