UPDATE: Brewer police officer cut from school budget, community reacts

One Brewer school resource officer has been cut from this year's proposed budget. Not everyone is happy about this decision.

*Update* 6/7 10:20 a.m. -- City council announced that the school resource officer eliminated from the school budget will be added to the city budget.

BREWER, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — A tight budget for the Brewer School Department means tough decisions had to be made.

School officials have eliminated one of two school resource officers to save $45,000. The school department needs nearly $1 million for other staffing needs.

Not everyone is happy about this decision.

"To me the decision is regrettable," said Brewer Public Safety Director, Jason Moffitt. 

Moffit says the losing an officer will make his department's job harder. 

The school department had two school resource officers. One at Brewer High School and the other at Brewer Community School.
 
Under this year's budget proposal, one officer will split work between both schools.

The Brewer Police Department shared a post on Facebook calling the decision to eliminate the Brewer Community School's resource officer calling it "regrettable" and "not ideal."

Moffitt says the positions was about more than just keeping students safe.

"Beyond that we're talking about helping kids make really good life choices as a mentor," Moffit said.

Superintendent Cheri Towle responded to our request for comment via email:

"Brewer always makes decisions with the safety of our students in mind. With our buildings on lock down with a buzzer system to enter and cameras present, we felt that having one resource officer for both buildings would still meet our educational and safety needs."

Neighboring towns, Bangor and Hampden, only have one school resource officer despite having more students than Brewer.

Old Town has one school resource officer as well but isn't much smaller than Brewer.

City council is set to vote on the school budget on Tuesday.

 

 

© 2017 WLBZ-TV


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