By Richard Van Winkle, News of Mill Creek.
The Everett School District entered into two interlocal agreements in 2019 that partially funds new School Resource Officers for Gateway Middle School and Heatherwood Middle School.
The school district’s September 2019 interlocal agreement with the City of Mill Creek adds a second Mill Creek Police Officer to the existing School Resource Officer program at Jackson High School and Heatherwood Middle School.
The new school resource officer will patrol Heatherwood Middle School full time during the school year.
Both school resource officers will support Mill Creek Elementary School as necessary.
Snohomish County Deputy Sheriff McCulloch is now on duty at Gateway Middle School full time as a result of the school district’s April 2019 interlocal agreement with Snohomish County.
At the present time, Mill Creek Police Officer Josh Saga patrols both Jackson High School and Heatherwood Middle School and helps with Mill Creek Elementary School on an as needed basis.
At the September 10th city council meeting Police Chief Greg Elwin said he expects Officer Saga will be joined by a second School Resource Officer sometime in the next month.
He explained that an open application process closes on September 20th where current Mill Creek Police Officers are given an opportunity to apply for the Heatherwood job.
According to an email from Elwin, "... if no current MCPD officers apply to be the second SRO (school resource officer), the department will assign an officer to this post, based on input from both the department and the school district. I don’t expect this to happen however."
Both the school district and the city will interview interested candidates in the final selection process.
Chief Elwin told the city council that the school district will pay for about 85% of the two Mill Creek Police Officer’s annual salary and benefits costs. This totals out to about $219,000 for the 2019-2020 school year.
Snohomish County will receive about $123,000 for Deputy Sheriff McCulloch’s services at Gateway Middle School for the 2019-2020 school year.
At the September 10th city council meeting Elwin explained that filling the Heatherwood School Resource Officer position will take a Mill Creek Police Officer from patrol duties, which can be handled on a temporary basis.
He went on to say that another police officer will have to be hired in the long term in order to preserve Mill Creek public safety.
Editor's note: This article was revised on September 16, 2019, to clarify that in order to maintain patrol staffing levels and public safety, another Mill Creek Police Officer will have to be hired after the Heatherwood School Resource Officer is assigned.