The Hollister School District Board of Trustees has unanimously approved $450,000 to employ two safety resource officers for the next two school years.
At the board’s July 24 meeting, Trustees Robert Bernosky, Peter Hernandez, Elizabeth Martinez, Patricia Moore and Elsa Rodriguez were all in agreement about paying salary and benefits for the two officers, excluding overtime expenses, for two years. The agreement, which runs through June 30, 2021, is between the City of Hollister and the Hollister School District.
The district will make six installments of $75,666 to cover the cost, according to the agreement.
The officers will “provide for the safety of the students, staff, parents and visitors to the campuses and surrounding areas, and (will) work in cooperation to resolve problems in partnership with the community and reduce the frequency of violence, gang crime, drug activity and other important problems by the school community,” according to the contract.
They will “work a school beat exclusively within the district, and approving an officer schedule, evaluation, training and administrative support toward successful fulfillment of the mutual goal,” the contract continues.
The Hollister Police Department will assign two uniformed police officers to serve the 10 Hollister elementary and middle schools.
Duties include traffic and parking control and enforcement, preventive patrol, investigation of all crimes occurring on or around a school campus, general law enforcement, and assistance with chronic truancy and problem-solving activities.
“The SROs will work alongside school staff as an instructor for the Gang Resistance Education And Training (GREAT) Program and support ongoing bullying prevention programs,” according to the agreement. “The SROs will engage in activities to develop strong working relationships with school staff, students and parents.”
The school resource officers will also be required to attend suspension and expulsion hearings and will have access to student records.