By Richard Van Winkle, News of Mill Creek, October 4, 2019.
Long-time Mill Creek Police Officer Todd Bridgman began his new assignment as Heatherwood's School Resource Officer on October 1st.
After submitting his application in September he was selected by Chief Greg Elwin with input from the Everett School District.
The Everett School District’s September 2019 interlocal agreement with the City of Mill Creek added a second Mill Creek Police Officer to the existing School Resource Officer Program at Jackson High School and Heatherwood Middle School.
Bridgman joins Officer Josh Saga in providing full-time safety and security for local public schools.
Until October 1st, Saga was assigned to both Jackson High School and Heatherwood Middle School. He and other Mill Creek police officers also helped with Mill Creek Elementary on an as needed basis.
Now Saga patrols Jackson High School and Bridgman patrols Heatherwood Middle School. Both officers are available on an as needed basis at Mill Creek Elementary School.
Bridgman joined the Mill Creek Police Department in 2006 after serving his country in the United States Coast Guard and working in the construction industry. He was honored as Mill Creek Police Officer of the Year in 2016.
The Everett School District pays for about 85% of the two school resource officers’ salary and benefit costs, which represents their time spent at the schools during the regular school year.
At the September 10th city council meeting Chief Elwin explained that filling the Heatherwood School Resource Officer position will take a Mill Creek Police Officer from regular patrol duties, which can be handled with overtime 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.
The Mill Creek City Council’s planning calendar indicates that police staffing challenges will be discussed at the October 8th city council meeting.