Calera approves school safety agreement with Commission, BOE

Published 8:33 pm Monday, August 5, 2013


CALERA – The Calera City Council approved a plan at its Aug. 5 meeting to accept and match a funding plan with the Shelby County Commission and the Shelby County Board of Education to help increase police presence in schools.

Mayor Jon Graham presented the plan to the council that would give the city of Calera $25,000 from the Shelby County Board of Education and $14,250 from the Shelby County Commission for the purpose of increasing police presence in Calera schools. The city of Calera would need to match the $14,250 from the commission in order to receive the money.

Graham and Police Chief Sean Lemley recognized that other cities in the area have elected to hire an entirely new officer with the money, but Lemley said he didn’t think that was the best option for Calera because of funding. Calera, he said, has four schools to serve, whereas other cities in the area only have three.

“(The money we’re getting from the commission and the board of education) is not even enough for one officer’s salary,” Lemley said.

Rather than spend thousands of dollars on equipment and officer training for a new officer, Lemley presented a plan that would allow two officers to work 4-6 hour overtime shifts at a time, either on off days or as extra hours added to shifts they are already assigned. The two officers would spend a total of five shifts at Calera schools during the week, rotating in at different times to increase police presence.

Lemley also said patrols already assigned to the schools would continue, and the extra shifts would simply increase that presence.

The council approved the agreement in a unanimous vote.