Chief Frank Koss explains Hinesburg’s rejected bid for school resource officer

To the Editor:

After Shelburne News’s article on the school resource officer (Sept. 20), I have received several calls concerning Shelburne Police receiving the contract for the office at Champlain Valley Union High School, located here in Hinesburg.

My biggest concern was the question of why an officer in Hinesburg costs $103,000 a year and in Shelburne, an officer only costs $85,000 a year. This question reflects on the accuracy of the overall cost of policing for the citizens in Hinesburg.

When the talk of a school resource officer first came up, I did the math and determined that an officer who makes $25 an hour, the total cost including insurance and other benefits is $43.44 an hour.  Since the position requires a vehicle, the approximate cost is $9.50 per hour for a total of $52.94 per hour. The contract requires 190 school days at 1,520 hours for a total bid of $80,498. This is $4,500 less than Shelburne bid for the contract.

The Selectboard was concerned about the rest of the time not paid for by the school district and picked up by the town. There was also a concern that the amount I submitted did not cover the “full burden” of the cost which includes the police station and all other costs to the police department. A member of the Selectboard determined with this full burden, the amount of $103,000 was needed to include all the costs. As it happens, that amount would have also covered the 26 percent of the Hinesburg’s portion of the responsibility.

Yes, I am disappointed. The Hinesburg police have been covering CVU since the department was born in the 1980s. The Selectboard was concerned that the citizens would not get a say in the expansion of the department to provide a school resource officer.

As it turned out, the citizens still did not get a say in this matter.

Frank Koss, chief
Hinesburg Police

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