College board approves agreement with Taft Police Department for full-time officer

Taft College will soon be adding a uniformed and sworn police officer to its campus security.
The college's Board of Trustees last week unanimously approved a memorandum of understanding with the Taft Police Department to provide a full-time officer and vehicle to the college.
The officer will serve 40 hours a week plus possible overtime to provide campus security and district safety planning and training services, Brock McMurray, the college's executive vice president, administrative services/chief financial officer, told the board.
Police Chief Ed Whiting told the board that he hasn't decided yet which officer will be assigned to the college, with three officers having expressed interest in the position. One of the three, who were not named, previously served as a Kern High School District officer, Whiting said.
The officer will start this week, with the agreement to run to June 30, 2014. The officer will be assigned an office on campus. Salary and benefit costs are not to exceed $115,000 plus overtime, as directed by West Kern Community College District.
Taft Police Department has agreements with Taft Union High School and Taft City School District to provide one officer at the high school and one officer at Roosevelt Junior High. Each of those officers serves nine months a year at their school, then performs regular TPD duties during the summer.
All three officers will work together as needed, McMurray said. There is already 59 hours a week of security during the late night/early morning period when the college is closed, he said.