$280K buys more campus security officers at Huntsville City Schools

Huntsville City Schools expects to spend $280,500 for hiring 15 part-time campus security officers to help protect students before and after regular classroom hours.

The district must strategically assign its current campus security officers because it doesn’t have enough CSOs to work every campus, Dr. Jeff Wilson, director of operations, told school board members last week, and adding 15 more will cover the district.

More to the purpose, a larger CSO staff provides enhanced security as part of a new transfer student supervision plan, he said. This means more eyes to keep watch in the mornings and afternoon when both magnet school and Majority-to-Minority students are in the midst of moving to campuses.

The supervision plans also tasks school principals to designate a space outside their school and a space inside their school in which students waiting for magnet buses, M-to-M transfer buses, or other transportation will wait to be picked up.

Transfer students can arrive at their zoned school as early as 7 a.m. to get a bus that takes them to their transfer school. On afternoons, they can remain on campus as past 4 p.m. Some schools also offer after-school programs that extend to 5:30 p.m. The officers will work weekdays 6:45 to 8:45 a.m. and 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

The unarmed CSOs will be there to ensure the campus only contains students who are meant to be at school during those extra times, Wilson said, and prevent unauthorized youths or young adults from loitering before or after school. The officers will be equipped with two-way radios and remote access to student ID picture to verify students are who they claim.
The part-time CSOs will earn $15 per hour and operate on a work schedule much like crossing guards.

The wages will cost an additional $236,340, which includes $91,000 for overtime. The district also will spend $18,000 for Motorola 1500 XTS radios and $5,040 on uniforms. The school board is expected to approve the expenditures through its annual budget process.

Wilson said he has already received interest from qualified applicants to work as CSOs. Most of them are recently retired personnel, who like the idea of earning $60 a day for four hours work.

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