Monette Oks hiring of additional police officer

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Monette city council met in special session Tuesday, July 31, to discuss hiring a fourth full-time police officer in order to provide resource officer coverage for the Buffalo Island Central High School campus in Monette.

Mayor Chub Qualls, City Clerk Vickki Carroll, all six councilmen were present along with Police Chief Brian Carmichael and officers Anthony Petty and Kevin Bond.

Mayor Qualls said he had received a call from BIC Superintendent Gaylon Taylor concerning provision of having a Monette police officer to serve as a school resource officer beginning this month. BIC is prepared to pay the city $30,000 to help in provision of an officer. The city estimated that the remaining cost for insurance, retirement, and taxes would leave the city paying approximately $15,553.71 for hiring a fourth officer.

Chief Carmichael said they would be able to hire someone, but it may not be in two weeks, in order to be ready for school to start. The police officers agreed to sacrifice and do the extra work until someone is hired.

BIC will not expect the city to pay someone to cover ball games.

It is unknown at this time if the resource officer position will continue after the 2018-2019 school year. It is not mandated by the state that schools provide full-time resource officers, but both BIC and the City of Monette want the officers there out of a concern for overall campus safety.

The council voted unanimously to hire a fourth officer.

The school will pay the city and the city will be adding the full-time officer to their payroll. The four officers will take turns working at the school.

“We want our school to be as safe as possible,” Qualls said. “It will also be good for the students to get to know all the Monette police officers.

Chief Carmichael obtained a copy of a yearly contract recommended by the Arkansas Municipal League for use by schools and cities for supplying resource officers. Monette officers will have the gear and equipment they need with them when they work at the school.

The council also discussed the need for the new officer to live inside Monette city limits, as has been the rule in the past.

The next regularly scheduled Monette Council meeting will be 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 27.

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