Cary, D-155 debate over salary

CARY – How many days a school resource officer will be at Cary-Grove High School still is being negotiated, despite the Cary Village Board approving a deal in June.

District 155 and the village of Cary are in talks over how much the school district should pay the village to provide a police officer at the high school.

In June, the Village Board approved an agreement where the school district would have paid half of the officer’s salary and half of overtime costs related to special events at school.

“We thought we had a different agreement that would have captured more of the cost for the time the officer spent in the high school, but that didn’t come to fruition,” Mayor Tom Kierna said.

The village expected the school district to pay about $40,000 a year, up from $23,000.

However, D-155 officials said they never knew what the actual amount would be and were still asking how much the village would bill for having a Cary police officer on campus, Director of Business and Finance Joe Murphy said.

D-155’s deal with the city of Crystal Lake includes the district paying 50 percent of the school resource officer’s salary for time worked in the district, not including benefits and pension contributions. The three D-155 high schools in Crystal Lake have officers five days a week.

The district is not responsible for paying the Crystal Lake officers when they are in court, sick, on vacation or working on city duties.

“We’re looking for equity,” Murphy said.

“The bottom line is we’re still in negotiations,” Murphy added. “I knew nothing of the village’s original action.”

Cary will continue resource officer services at three days a week, with hopes of having a new deal by Oct. 31 that is equivalent to 50 percent of the village’s cost of employing the police officer.

The village estimates the cost of an officer to be $110,000, including salary, benefits and pension contributions.

Currently, the district reimburses Cary $20,000 a year, plus overtime costs for three days of coverage. D-155 is looking to increase that to five days a week.

If a deal can’t be reached by Oct. 31, the village wants to reduce the number of hours the officer works in the school to what $20,000 a year pays for.

“For two extra days of service, from the three that we had, was not a service level amendment that we could sustain and fund with our current fiscal position,” Village Administrator Chris Clark said.

Crystal Lake has more officers than Cary, and the Cary department has to pay overtime because it has officers on workers compensation because of injuries, Clark said.

“We like to do it, I certainly think we need a presence in the school, but it’s not practical for us at this time,” Clark said.

“Crystal Lake has a cost model we can’t match and a budget structure we don’t have,” Clark added.

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