Jessica Mathews /

A new partnership will ensure a police presence within more Howell Public Schools buildings but also throughout four local communities.

The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office is entering into an agreement with Howell Public Schools; along with Genoa, Howell, Oceola and Marion Townships for dedicated services. All have school buildings within their boundaries.

Discussions have been taking place about entering into some sort of cooperative contract to ensure a police presence in the schools located outside of the City of Howell. The City and the district have a separate agreement for a school resource officer.

The deputy will be responsible for monitoring traffic issues, emergency planning, school safety walk-throughs and other duties as assigned. The deputy would also visit and check-in with each school regularly to address any concerns.

In a letter, Sheriff Mike Murphy stated they view this as “good old fashioned community policing; trying to solve problems, before they become a bigger problem for Law Enforcement or the township”.

The Genoa Township Board met Monday night and unanimously approved the agreement.

Supervisor Bill Rogers told WHMI said the timing, in a sense, is rather unfortunate but fortunate because it needs to be addressed and should be addressed - adding with what’s been going on, it’s a prudent thing to do. He said what’s also nice is that when the deputy is not working in any of the schools, they’ll be out patrolling the townships.

The deputy will also have the ability to aid enforcement and ordinance officers if needed and could go out on calls if requested for an extra presence. Rogers said it’s kind of a backup in today’s environment and he views it as a win-win all the way around to help the schools as well as all of their constituents and those who have to go out and enforce rules and regulations.

The cost is $150,000. The agreement calls for a $50,000 contribution from HPS, and then $25,000 from each of the municipalities.

The contract, once approved by all of the parties, will commence on August 1st and run through July of 2023.