By Conrad Dudderar
A Yukon City Council member asked this week if four police officers at two Yukon schools are enough.
At-Large City Council Member Jeff Wootton, a Yukon Public Schools’ teacher, wondered whether there was a need for more school resource officers (SROs).
The Yukon City Council, at its Aug. 17th meeting, approved renewing an annual contract with Yukon Public Schools to provide SROs for FY21-22.
The school district pays the City of Yukon $200,000 to have four on-duty officers from August through May at the Yukon High School and Yukon Middle School campuses.
YPS officials have not asked for any more officers in the schools, Yukon Police Chief John Corn told council members.
Yukon’s veteran police chief referred to student population growth at school campuses over the years. When the SRO program started in the 1990s, one Yukon police officer was assigned to YHS.
There are now four SROs assigned to the YHS (grades 9-12) and YMS (grades 7-8). There are no SROs at the district’s elementary (PK-3) or intermediate (4-6) schools.
Enrollment will continue to increase at YPS sites within the YPD’s jurisdiction, Corn predicted. Total district enrollment has surpassed 9,100.
“The problem will be, can the district afford to offset our employment salary and cost, to put an officer on those campuses?” he told council members. “That’s going to be the biggest factor – and it always is. It’s not just our city, it’s all cities that have this program.
“Communities like ours rely heavily on the presence of those officers in those buildings with those students. It’s been a benefit.”
These Yukon police officers serve strictly law enforcement functions on school campuses – responding to crimes involving students and faculty, Corn explained.
“They’re not there to handle discipline or anything related to district policy,” he said.
With several veteran YPD officers filling the SRO positions, the police chief noted the city’s employment costs are much higher than the current contract covers.
Wootton thanked Yukon’s SROs for their service in the schools.
“Chief, they do an amazing job,” Wootton told Corn. “You know this, and the students know this. They do so much for the kids of the community.”
Ten of the 12 YPS school sites are in Yukon city limits. The other two – Surrey Hills Elementary School and Redstone Intermediate School – and in Oklahoma City.
ODDS N ENDS …
Also at the Aug. 17th city council meeting, Yukon City Manager Tammy Kretchmar shared news about City of Yukon sales tax revenues.
The August disbursement from the Oklahoma Tax Commission (representing June sales) is up 2.35% from the same month in 2020.
Year-to-date sales tax collections are 3.87% ahead of last year’s total.
Kretchmar provided a brief update of capital improvement projects:
- New flooring has been installed and painting done at the Yukon Community Center, 2200 S Holly.
- Utility relocation for phase two of the State Highway 4 project will be completed in about three weeks.
- Construction has started on the Garth Brooks Boulevard multi-use trail between Vandament and Main Street. The project will take about 180 days.
- A ribbon cutting ceremony will be 10 a.m. Friday, Aug 27 for the Interstate 40/Frisco Road interchange.
- An 11th Street resurfacing project between Main Street and Wilshire will begin in about two weeks.