The Maryland School for the Deaf will receive its own school resource officer after the Board of Aldermen voted to approve a memorandum of understanding between the city and the school. The agreement allows the Frederick Police Department to increase its officer number to 149.
Funding for the position, which amounts to just under $170,000, will come from the school. That money, which must be provided to the city by Dec. 1, will cover salary, benefits, uniforms, equipment, training and a vehicle for the officer. The agreement also states that the officer will begin the assignment on Sept. 1, 2020.
“I just think this is an outstanding opportunity to partner with a segment of our population that has specific needs,” Alderwoman Kelly Russell said. “It’s also an opportunity ... for our police department and our employees to develop a closer relationship with our deaf community, so I think it’s outstanding.”
According to the agreement, the officer will work four 10½-hour shifts, and the days of the week when the officer is on duty will vary. While the MOU is set to expire at the end of June, both parties indicated that a new agreement will be in place to ensure that the officer will report for duty on Sept. 1.
“The police department has long had a relationship with the School for the Deaf,” Russell said. “We previously had an intern from the School for the Deaf that produced a video in partnership with the city. So I think there have been building blocks [for the agreement].”