BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A proposed tax on Livingston Parish ballots would place a school resource officer on every campus in the parish, assistant superintendent Joe Murphy said Friday.
The proposal would institute a half-cent sales tax to hire around 50 officers through the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s office. Sheriff Jason Ard said he brought the proposal after the Valentine’s Day school shooting in Florida.
“This is about our children’s safety,” Ard said. “It’s not great that it’s needed, but it is needed.”
The tax would raise about $8 million, total. It would cost about $100,000 per officer, including benefits and administrative costs. There would likely be leftover funds, which would go to the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s office.
“These officers have become woven into the fabric of our schools and they do more for our schools than just protect them,” Murphy said. “They meet with our children, talk with our children, and eat lunch with our children.”
Right now, there are ten officers who are responsible for the more than 40 campuses in Livingston Parish.
Election day is Nov. 6 and early voting begins next week.