The Douglass Alternative School in Leesburg will have a dedicated school resource officer next year, but it won’t be a Leesburg Police officer.
Last summer, the school district asked the Town of Leesburg to provide an officer to be stationed at the school during class times. Under an agreement with the Board of Supervisors, the town police department provides that service to schools inside the corporate limits and the county pays 70 percent of the cost. In this case, however, the Town Council bucked at the expense, saying that the Douglass School serves students from all around Loudoun, not primarily Leesburg students.
Currently, the Douglass School shares an SRO with Loudoun County High School. Calls for service at Douglass School have been the second highest in the system for the past two years. During the past five years, the school has averaged more than 225 instances per year requiring intervention by law enforcement according to a staff report.
Supervisors last week voted unanimously to hire a new deputy for the post. That will cost $207,000 in FY 2017, including $79,000 to purchase a new cruiser and other one-time start-up expenses. The annual cost for the resource officer, who will be available for other assignments when school is out, is $123,000.