OPELOUSAS — St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz told the School Board on Thursday that he will supply three deputies to serve as school resource officers at several rural school sites, without any cost to the system.
Guidroz said he can afford the expense because his department plans to save an expected $200,000 in vehicle repair costs because of parish road improvements, paid for by a tax that went into effect in early 2014.
The deputies will be stationed at North Central, Beau Chene and Northwest High and their feeder schools beginning in 2016, Guidroz said.
Guidroz said the Sheriff’s Office will not fund resource officers at Opelousas High and Opelousas Junior High schools.
“The cities will have to take care of business as much as they can,” Guidroz said.
Both the School Board and Opelousas Board of Aldermen have discussed funding officers for Opelousas High and Opelousas Junior High over the past several months, but there has been no consensus on how to pay for the new expense.
The Opelousas board at a November meeting voted against splitting the costs of the two proposed officers with the school district. Alderman Blair Briggs said at that meeting that he believed the district should pay for both officers.
In an interview after Thursday’s meeting, Superintendent Edward Brown said the district could afford to spend only $42,000 — the cost for one officer — and that the city would have to pay for the other one.
In another matter, the board accepted unanimously a low bid of $2.53 million by M.D. Descant to build a cafeteria and 10 classrooms at Leonville Elementary.
Costs for the project will come from a $10 million bond issue that was approved by the board in October.
The board also voted unanimously to call a special Dec. 10 meeting to perform an evaluation of Brown, his first one since he was hired in 2013. It will be performed in a closed session.