By Mike Kruzman /

The Howell Public Schools’ Board of Education has approved a new contract for maintaining a school resource officer.

The agreement comes with the blessing of Howell Police Chief Scott Mannor. The three-year agreement will run through the 2023-2034 school year. The officer will be paid a base salary of just over $55,000, with $4,000 allotted for overtime each year. In a memo from Chief Mannor, he states that because the Howell Police Department continues to hire, he does not anticipate any annual increases. The officer will be employed by the Howell Police Department and jointly selected by the Chief and Superintendent Erin MacGregor. Overall, though, the goal of the position is to help assist the district in providing a safe, learning environment, while also improving relationships between law enforcement officers and students.

During the Board’s Monday meeting, Trustee Marcus Wilcox requested a desire to seek other options aside from the city department, saying it could be cheaper to go with the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office or by bringing back a retired officer as a security guard. MacGregor said from his standpoint he values this relationship with the city and asked that the Board trust his judgment. He called the existing relationship “phenomenal,” though recognizing that on its own, that might not address Wilcox’s issues. The superintendent asked the Board to provide some trust in him, citing his 22 years of education experience with around a dozen different SRO’s. He said that he has seen some that have been great and some he wouldn’t want to see in that role again and that he liked what they had going on with the city.

MacGregor said that if the Board of Education desired that he look into other options, he had no qualms with doing so. However, the Board ultimately voted in favor of maintaining the contract with the city police department by a 6-1 vote, with Wilcox dissenting.