Higher costs from rising salaries have prompted a state oversight panel to cut the number of police and juvenile probation officers on Arizona school campuses by 14 percent. Faced with $18 million of requests and $15 million of available funding, the School Safety Program Oversight Committee last week decided against eliminating the program entirely at specific schools but made several changes that will result in 38 fewer officers at schools.
Accepting recommendations by the state Department of Education, the committee opted to eliminate multiple officers at the same school. The committee also reduced the state’s funding for officers to 11 months instead of a full year. Affected districts will be responsible for paying the officers for the 12th month. Also, the state program will no longer provide funding for supplies and equipment for officers or participating schools.