School district, city finalize agreements for police liaisons

2-year joint powers agreements command $408,030 in total spending

Cliff Buchan
News Editor

Forest Lake School District 831 and the city of Forest Lake have agreed in principle to a two-year funding plan for police liaison officers that will cost $408,030.

The school board, meeting in regular session on Thursday, May 31, ratified a joint powers agreement with the city that will continue a long-standing policy of staff police liaison officers assigned to the high school and the two junior high schools.

The city council approved the two joint powers agreements involving the Forest Lake Police Department at its regular meeting Monday night.

Under the terms of the two joint powers pacts, the school district will pay for the majority of the costs.

The one exception is the three-month summer period when an a city police officer is not assigned duty at Century and Southwest junior high schools where the officer works during the school term.

The high school police liaison officer is a 12-month employee, due largely to the high school serving as a summer school site.

Cost Explained

Total cost of the high school police liaison is $104,900 in the 2012-2013 school year and $106,362 in the 2013-2014 school year.

The total first year package cost is $71,136 for officer salary, $3009 for holiday pay, $27,205 for benefits, $550 for training and $3000 for vehicle.

The total second year cost is $71,843 for police officer salary, $3039 for holiday pay, $27,930 for benefits,, $550 for training and $3000 for vehicle.

At the junior high school level, the total first-year cost is $71,136 for officer salary, $3010 for holiday pay, $20,101 for benefits, $550 for training and $3000 for vehicle expense.

In the second year, the police officer salary is set $71,843 with holiday pay commanding $3040 and officer benefits $20,538. Training is a $550 cost item while vehicle cost is $3000.

Under the joint powers agreement, the city will pay $24,450 of the $97,797 cost in the first year and $24,743 of the $98,971 total cost in the second year of the agreement. During the summer months, the junior high liaison officer falls back into regular police department shifts and assignments.

The school district covers the full sum of the high school position. For the junior high liaison officer, the school district’s costs are $73,337 in the first year and $74,228 in the second year.

Under the agreement, the liaison officer remains a city employee and is not considered a school district employee.

The officer works in close consultation with school district officials for scheduling and reports directly to the city of Forest Lake director of public safety.