Cary, D-155 OK pact for police officer

CARY – The Village Board and District 155 have a new agreement that allows for a police officer to be at Cary-Grove High School five days a week.

The school district will pay the village $194.45 for each day the school resource officer is at Cary-Grove High School under the agreement approved Tuesday in a 4-2 vote by the Village Board.

It will cover a portion of the officer’s salary, which can reach more than $76,000.

The amount is not to exceed $35,000 a year, which works out to 180 school days.

Previously, the district paid Cary $20,000 a year plus overtime costs for three days of coverage. So far, the village has billed the district $2,000 for this school year.

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.

District 155 Director of Business and Finance Joe Murphy said the school board has yet to schedule a vote on the agreement.

The debate over how much the school district should pay the village started again when the village approved a proposed agreement in June that called for the school district to pay half of the officer’s salary and half of overtime costs related to special events at school.

However, D-155 officials had 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.

“We were both out for the same goal: to offer the service to the students and the district five days a week,” Murphy said. “It was just how could we get there. That was a mutual goal for both of us from the get go.”

Village Trustees Jeff Kraus and Karen Lukasik voted against the agreement.

Kraus said he understands the importance of the program, but disagreed with how it’s being paid for.

He objected with how Cary takes on the cost of the resource officer although the high school has students from outside the village boundaries, such as from Trout Valley and Fox River Grove.

He also said the District 155 should pay for the full cost of the officer.

“I think it’s a good program,” Kraus said. “If District 155 wants this service, they ought to be paying for this service.”

Trustee Robert Bragg defended the value of the program.

“When talking to all the police officers, … all the police officers say we be in dire straights if we didn’t have this in place,” Bragg said.

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