Unspent funds from the previous year will be used to create a special fund restricted to public safety programs approved by the Davenport City Council.
As part of a $5.6 million budget amendment, $600,000 has been put aside to meet the $600,000 challenge grant from the Bechtel Trust that will fund the addition of more officers in schools and those dedicated to community policing activities.
The $1.33 million proposal between the city, Bechtel Trust and Davenport Community School District adds two school resource officers and two community policing officers for a three-year period amidst a surge in juvenile crimes in the Quad-Cities.
"I just want to thank the Mayor (Frank Klipsch), City Administrator (Corri Spiegel), Chief of Police (Paul Sikorski), Mr. (R. Richard) Bittner and everyone that worked on it from the school for putting more officers in schools to develop those relationships and trust," Alderman Mike Matson, 7th Ward, said during Wednesday's committee-of-the-whole meeting. "It's critical, and we see how it works now. To expand upon that is a wonderful idea."
The proposal to forge the partnership was announced a few weeks ago, but in order to advance it, the city council has to approve an intergovernmental agreement with the school district and approve the budget amendment.
Davenport currently utilizes school resource officers at West High School and Central High School while also using off-duty officers to cover duties at North High School.
The two additional resource officers created by the proposal are intended to expand the presence of law enforcement at the district's junior high schools.
In a memorandum to Klipsch and the city council, Sikorski identified seven objectives for the new resource officers including improving attendance, productivity and performance, developing positive relationships with students and families and reducing crime around schools.
When the announcement was made, Sikorksi said there would be around a four and a half month turn around time to hire and train officers with the goal of having them in place by the start of the next fiscal year.
Although Davenport still has to approve the budget amendment and agreement with the school district at Wednesday's City Council meeting, Klipsch said all the parties are being proactive in making sure the additional resources last beyond the initial 3-year period.
"Not only did the partners come together to put this thing together (but) they are equally committed and looking for the extension," Klipsch said. "A lot of times when you get this type of funding, you take a sigh of relief and three years later you're like 'Oh my goodness. What are we going to do now?'"
As someone who regularly sees the impact of a school resource officer at Central High School, Matson called the agreement "one of the better things we've done in a long time and in my long tenure on the Council."