CARSON CITY — Carson City Police Chief Bruce Partridge is offering the Carson City-Crystal Area Schools Board of Education a partnership similar to the one Carson Health has to boost security in the school district.
During roundtable discussion at the annual board meeting on Jan. 11, Partridge informed board members about the cost.
“It would cost $105 a day for a shared 10-hour shift,” Partridge said. “We are not looking for benefits, holiday pay or pensions, just what it would cost to staff the officer during the school year.”
According to Partridge, the current partnership with Carson Health works well and the hospital has extended its agreement with the police department.
“Chief Partridge gave us an offer similar to the one at Carson Health so we could provide additional security for our school district,” School Board President Tom Wilcox said.
Superintendent Kevin Murphy would like to see more conversation on this issue.
“I felt board members were receiving to this information but we are going to continue the discussion further,” Murphy said.
Partridge and his officers toured the schools in the district two weeks ago.
“It had been some time since the officers actually toured all the school buildings top to bottom,” Partridge said. “This gives us a lay of the land.”
After the tour, Partridge was more aware of the current security systems the school has in place.
“The school has done some good things to protect its students,” Partridge said. “They have done a lot of real good things, like the single access points and making sure doors are not propped open. They have come a long way.”
Wilcox said he is looking at all options as the school board moves forward on this discussion.
“No mater what kind of systems we have in place nothing will be foolproof,” Wilcox said. “Currently we do have a good system but there is always more we can improve on.”
The cost of the partnership is one of the reasons the school board hasn’t moved further on the partnership offered by Partridge.
“At this time we don’t have the money in the budget,” Wilcox said.
Murphy has heard good things from people in the area about the current partnership between the hospital and the police department.
“I hear the partnership is working well at the hospital and I would like to examine it more,” Murphy said. “For us it is more financial, it is about $18,000 per school year. Our budget has been built for this year. I am looking at it more for next year and see if we can find dollars in the budget for a partnership if we choose to do that.”
The discussion about student safety in the school district also included possibly arming the faculty and or the staff in the schools.
“I would coin a phrase that trustee Gregg McAlvey said, that we are not opposed at looking at the idea,” Murphy said.
According to Wilcox, the board asked Partridge his opinion on arming school officials.
“We had some more discussion about getting the faculty certified to carry,” Wilcox said. “I don’t want to put words in his mouth, but the police chief supports the idea.”
Partridge said doing something was better than doing nothing.
“Bottom line is I do support the idea of arming faculty and staff,” Partridge said “However, the first and the best thing you can do is to have a trained law enforcement officer in your school.”
Murphy isn’t ready to make any final decision on the direction he should take the district on this issue.
“We have a long way to go,” Murphy said. “If the board goes down the road about arming faculty and staff then we will have a deep discussion with them and our community before we even consider it further.”
Other meeting topics discussed:
The board continued discussion on the bond project.
“Still waiting to hear from our attorney and Switzer’s attorney to hammer out an agreement,” Murphy said. “We have a tentative meeting in couple weeks to discuss the bathroom project.”
The board also discussed the future and Murphy looks to start conversations about what a future bond proposal would look like.
“I am interested in starting a bond committee and would like members of the community if they were interested in being part of this discussion,” Murphy said. “I think community input is welcome and valued.”
Community members can contact Murphy if they would like to be a part of this discussion.
Murphy also went over new administrative guidelines with board members that came about after a concerned parent voiced a strong opinion on how things were handled in previous years.
“This parent wasn’t at our recent meeting but I will make sure I reach out to him with a copy of the guidelines,” Murphy said.