SILOAM SPRINGS — City managers approved an amended memorandum of understanding between the city and the Siloam Springs School District for two additional school resource officers at the Nov. 1 city council meeting.
Principals previously approved a memorandum with the school district on Sept. 6 for five school resource officers and five marked police vehicles for the 2022-23 school year in the amount of $194,116, according to Police Chief Allan Gilbert. .
The amended memorandum would add two more school resource officers and marked police vehicles, bringing the amount to $348,243, Gilbert said. The amount mentioned would be the city’s budget cost for the memorandum, according to a staff report prepared by Gilbert on Oct. 26.
“It’s something the school board and I looked at,” Gilbert said. “It’s something we’ve been working on for over a year.”
The additional $70,000 would also cover 100% of school resource officer overtime, Gilbert said. Director David Allen confirmed the amount of the memorandum and said he fully supports this program.
“Officers can often become not only friends to our students and teaching staff, but they can often be so proactive that they can prevent things by just listening to students,” Allen said.
Allen also spoke about the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, and said if the police took a more proactive look at the fact that it could have been avoided, then he is in favor of anything the city can do. . Director Carol Smiley said she thinks all directors think alike and want to protect students.
“I’m glad we’re looking at adding more, so I’m in favor of that,” Smiley said.
Principal Mindy Hunt said she was speaking with someone in her parish and he gave her a list of things he would like to see for Siloam Springs.
One of the things the voter mentioned is that he doesn’t want Siloam Springs to be in the same predicament as other towns with school shootings and violence.
“I think it’s great that we have all five SROs; seven would be better,” Hunt said.
Principal Marla Sappington said just having School Resource Officers in schools is an asset and also said the School Resource Officer becomes a friend to students and teachers.
“I think it’s a wonderful program, and I wish we could do more,” Sappington said.
Gilbert called the school resource officer program excellent and told the board that he had been a school resource officer in Mississippi and started the first such program in 1999 in Mississippi.
City managers too
• Appointment of Carla Wasson to the Arkansas Board of Public Education at John Brown University.
• Approved the assignment of utility easements for 20179 Bill Young Road.
• Approved the assignment of utility easements and right-of-way for 23229 and 23345 Lawlis Road.
• Approval of a contract with Healthcare Re-insurance in the amount of $263,079.
• Approval of a cooperative agreement between the Siloam Springs Water Resource Company and the NWA Trailblazers for mountain bike trails.
• Order placed. 22-25 regarding the rezoning of 409 N. Country Club Road from agricultural to light commercial at first reading.
• Passed Ordinance 22-26 regarding the rezoning of the 1800 block of Brashears Road.
• Placed Order 22-27, regarding the waiver of competition and the approval of Blue Cross and Blue Shield as the insurance provider for the city, at first and only reading.
• Approved Resolution 62-22. regarding a major development permit for Lot 2 of the Siloam Warehouse Addition for Jiffy’s second trip to Siloam Springs.
• Tabling of resolution 63-22 concerning a preliminary flat development permit for block 22100-22200 of chemin Davidson until the next meeting.