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Citrus Heights to consider placing police officers at each high school

San Juan High School, Citrus Heights
File photo, San Juan High School in Citrus Heights, located at 7551 Greenback Ln. // CH Sentinel

Sentinel staff report–
The City of Citrus Heights will be looking into funding and staffing of a school resource officer at both Mesa Verde and San Juan high schools, following a request by Vice Mayor Bret Daniels last week.

Noting school shootings and concerns about violence, Daniels proposed the idea at the end of the City Council’s March 23 meeting. His request was made during a portion of the meeting set aside for items requested by council members to be placed on a future agenda, and received the necessary “second” motion of support from Mayor Tim Schaefer in order for the item to be place on an upcoming agenda.

Schaefer noted that the proposal is “scaled back” from a prior consideration to fund an officer at every school in the district.

In response to an earlier request from the council, the city’s police chief in January reported an estimated ongoing cost of about $2.5 million per year in order to staff an officer at all 12 public schools in Citrus Heights. The city’s general fund expenditures this year are anticipated to be around $35.5 million, with a projected surplus of about $8 million.

In January, Schaefer and Daniels both sought to move forward with a motion to look into funding sources for providing police presence on campuses, but other council members voiced disagreement.

“I’m not sure we need to look at budgeting money as much as [the school district] needs to look at fixing up the security of their campuses,” Karpinski-Costa said. “Safe Schools needs to invest in schools before we invest in schools.”

Councilwoman MariJane Lopez-Taff also said the city shouldn’t have to pursue funding for school safety when the district is pursuing improvements.

Schaefer had responded that he didn’t want to look back “after the next shooting happens and say, ‘yea we kind of looked at that and yea we decided not to.'”

From January: Citrus Heights Police Chief says cost could run $2.5M to put cops in schools

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