North Royalton City Council approved legislation that would add a part-time School Resource Officer to the complement of the North Royalton Police Department. The three ordinances were unanimously approved at their December 21 City Council meeting. School Resource Officers are police officers who work in the district, along with school administrators, faculty and security staff members in an effort to ensure that schools are safe places for students.
Council adopted an ordinance that would add the position to the existing Police Department complement. The second ordinance that was adopted funded the position and the third ordinance approved a Memorandum of Understanding, that defines the details of the position. According to that legislation, it states that “The School Resource Officer Program (SRO Program) is designed to clarify roles and expectations between the participating entities to foster an efficient and cohesive program that will build a positive relationship between police officers, school staff and students, promote a safe and positive learning environment and decrease the number of students referred to the juvenile justice system.” It goes on to say that “the mission of the SRO Program is to promote school safety by building a positive school climate in which everyone feels safe and students are supported to.” According to the legislation, the position will have an entry hourly pay of $36.84. in 2022 and $37.95 in 2023.
North Royalton Police Office Jon Karl served as School Resource Officer for the North Royalton School District until last year, when he retired. Officer Alexandra (Lexie) Bell took Karl’s place in that position and is the current full-time SRO. She serves in that position through the North Royalton Police Department, where she is considered a Patrol Officer with the North Royalton Police Department and works for the city, which funds that position. The new position, according to North Royalton Police Chief Keith Tarase, will be a separate position, which will be primarily funded through the North Royalton School District, but will report directly to him.
Mayor Larry Antoskiewicz said that school officials “came to us and said that they’d like an added part-time SRO. We think it would be beneficial.” North Royalton School Superintendent Mike Laub noted that “some day, I’d like to see more in the future. I think it’s a very positive thing for our kids.” He stated that the schools are reviewing the Memorandum of Understanding to see if any changes need to be made. A final agreement will need the approval of both the North Royalton City Council and the North Royalton Board of Education. Ultimately, both the city and the schools will reach an agreement and the position will be posted. “No doubt we’ll get to that place and reach an agreement,” said Laub.

Contributing Writer