Wed, Oct. 16

Mingus board approves contract for school resource officer
Mingus SRO paid by grant from Department of Education

UPDATE: Mingus SRO paid by grant from Department of Education

COTTONWOOD – Regarding the Aug. 15 story “Mingus board approves $91k contract for school resource officer,” Verde Valley Newspapers has been advised that Cottonwood Police Officer Clint Combs is paid from a “competitive state grant” from the Arizona Department of Education, according to Mingus Union Superintendent Penny Hargrove.

In June 2017, Mingus Union was notified that it was “selected to participate in [the Department of Education’s] School Safety Program,” according to a letter from the office of Diane Douglas, superintendent of Public Instruction.

“The intent of the School Safety Program is to place School Resource officers and Juvenile Probation officers on school grounds to contribute to safe school environments that are conducive to teaching and learning,” the letter stated.

Hargrove said the district applied for the grant in the 2016-2017 school year.

The $91,026.01, according to Cottonwood Police Chief and Mingus Union School Board member Steve Gesell, is “full employee costs,” which include salary and benefits.

“We were very fortunate to get the grant last year,” Gesell said.

Documentation pertaining to the grant was not included with the Mingus Union School Board’s Aug. 9 agenda packet.

COTTONWOOD – With Mingus Union School Board member and Cottonwood Police Chief Steve Gesell abstaining, the board voted 4-to-0 to approve a one-year Intergovernmental Agreement for the Cottonwood Police Department to provide Clint Combs as School Resource Officer.

Combs’ duties include establishing liaison with school administrators, staff, students and parents; informing students of their rights and responsibilities as lawful citizens through presentation of law-related education in the classroom; acting as a resource in the investigation of school-related criminal activities; and providing a visible deterrence to crime while presenting a positive impression of a law enforcement officer.

Combs’ $91,026 salary would be paid by the district, as Mingus Union will pay Cottonwood Police $7,585.51 each month.

The Mingus board also approved a three-year Intergovernmental Agreement for Northern Arizona Healthcare to provide the district with a Certified Athletic Trainer.

The athletic trainer, Jazmine Roland, is in her second year at Mingus Union. According to District Superintendent Penny Hargrove, Roland would work approximately 1664 hours per school year.

The district will pay Northern Arizona Healthcare $14,000 per year “and provide all medical supplies used in the provision of the services,” Hargrove said.

Before the agreement, the athletic trainer was a Mingus Union employee, Hargrove said.

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