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Crunching the numbers: How much school safety money could go towards new police officers?

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS)  — A cut to dean 170 positions within the Clark County School District, was the budget slash hard around the county.  However, one of the major concerns emerging from getting rid of those dean positions has to do with school safety.  Clark County School Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara mentioned his goals for hiring more officers during a town hall Wednesday night.

CCSD has been looking to boost the numbers in its police department for quite a while now.  During the town hall, Jara gave a more detailed look at his goal.

“We just hired; new police officers we hire, we’re, with the new money will be able to hire ten more,” Jara said. 

According to Jara, that number is on top of the eight that were just hired. 8 News Now calculated the cost of a first-year police officer to be somewhere around $81,000.  So, ten additional officers would cost just over $800,000 next year.

The money would come from newly-allocated state funds for school safety.

“My effort is to put in two police officers in every high school, stationary, and then add more for the middle schools as well,” Jara said. 

That’s in line with calls from some in the community to have two officers at each middle and high school. But we won’t be seeing that in the next few years, and here’s why:

The largest chunk of school safety money, $8.3 million, comes from Senate Bill 551.  The district didn’t provide hard figures to me, but its share would probably be in the neighborhood of $5 million. If CCSD used all of that money on more officers, they could hire 61.  That’d boost the department to 218 officers.

A total of 216 officers are needed to put two officers in every middle and high school.  That would leave just two officers to cover more than 200 elementary schools, which is not feasible.

In the weeks ahead, a better picture of that money will be spent will be presented.  The school district will also receive school safety funding from two other bills: Senate Bills 528 and 555.

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