Mayor's school police officer veto holds up to challenge

Nathaniel Herz

The Anchorage Assembly rejected an effort Tuesday night to overturn a mayoral veto and pay an extra $750,000 for police officers that work in schools. The money would have gone to help pay roughly half of the $3 million annual cost of the 17 school resource officers who work for the cash-strapped Anchorage School District. The school district, which is facing a budget shortfall, has been paying the full $3 million cost of the program. But the officers do general police work during the summer, and some Assembly members maintain that part of the salaries should be covered by the city instead. At a meeting last month, the Assembly passed two measures pertaining to the police officers -- one that would have left the city paying for half the $3 million cost, and one that would have covered $750,000.

Mayor Dan Sullivan vetoed the larger amount, saying that the city should only cover a quarter of the programs' costs, since the officers work outside the schools for one quarter of the year. Six Assembly members voted to overturn the veto Tuesday night, but that was two short of the eight required to do so.


By Nathaniel Herz