Contract with Taft PD won't be renewed, new one starts in August
The Taft City School District has a tentative contract with the Kern County Sheriff's office for a new school resource officer.
The TCSD administration is recommending approval of the contract which calls for the District to pay $121,715 effective August 20, 2018 through June 6, 2019.
The Board of trustees is expected to vote on it at its May meeting on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in Education Center on Sixth Street.
The TCSD, like Taft Union High School and Taft College, had contracted in the past with the Taft Police Department for school resource officers and a campus security officer. However, as a result of a lawsuit filed on behalf of the TUHSD against the City after the 2013 shooting on the TUHS campus, The city's risk management agency has asked for additional identification against suits in contracts.
The TUHS lawsuit alleges that the city was negligent because the officer assigned to the school was not present when the shooting occurred. Insurers for the schools have balked at that requirement, and the SRO contracts have not been renewed as they expire. Taft City Schools has had officer Moises Martinez as the school resource officer for the past seven years, but on the first day of the 2018-19 school year, students in the K-8 District will have a new officer.
Taft High hired a school resource officer through the KCSO in the fall of 2017, and Taft College just hired former Taft Police officer Kevin Altenhofel as its director of security in February.