Higher taxes for higher school security - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Higher taxes for higher school security

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ALLEN PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

Allen Parish voters will get to choose to pay higher taxes for increased school security.

The proposed millage increase will help pay to have a school resource officer, or deputy, on every campus of every school in Allen Parish.

Allen Parish Sheriff Doug Hebert said it's something important for the community.

"I don't think we can idly sit by and give the same old excuses, 'Well, there's nothing I can do.' I think there's something we can do," Hebert said.

And that's putting a resource officer at every school.

The proposed millage would go toward hiring 11 full-time school resource officers. The millage would also go to provide new safety equipment such as new locks for classroom doors, surveillance cameras for hallways, entrance and exit doors, and activation alarms. 

Hebert said he wants the residents to be educated when it comes to providing safety for the students, and where their money could be going.

"They (school resource officers) will be required to go through an extensive background check. They will be required, at minimum, the Sheriff's Academy in Lake Charles. They'll also have to be certified as a DARE officer and certified as a school resource officer," Hebert said.

The officers will also have to participate in training for the SWAT team.

Hebert said the millage would generate about $630,000 each year. 

"That is going to pay for salaries, the benefit packages that we're mandated by the statute to pay health insurance, a portion of their retirement, life insurance," Hebert said.

He knows the increase isn't fair for a small community, but when it comes down to it, he said it's worth it.

"I have to weigh the impact it has to a small population against the safety of kids. And every single time I have to make that decision, I'm going to decide for the kids," Hebert said.

There is at least three more town hall meetings in Allen Parish to discuss the millage and school resource officers, according to Hebert.

For more information, contact Lt. Robert Turner at the Allen Parish Sheriff's Office. That number is (337)639-4353.

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