Assembly proposal shifted $750,000 in program costs to municipal budget
ANCHORAGE – Mayor Dan Sullivan vetoed a $750,000 municipal budget amendment intended to fund police officers in local schools.
The school resource officer program places Anchorage Police Department officers in every Anchorage high school and the Anchorage School District’s Education Center. The program is funded by the school district. During the summer months, the school resource officers patrol Downtown Anchorage, and Sullivan had previously supported an Assembly amendment to provide partial funding to the program during those months.
The Assembly passed a budget that paid $1.5 million of the $3 million of school resource officers. Sullivan cut that funding in half.
Assemblyman Ernie Hall said the budget passed by the legislative body would have shifted $750,000 in resource officer costs from the ASD budget to the municipality’s general operating budget. After Sullivan vetoed that plan, the school district must now find alternate ways of funding the resource officer program.
Anchorage School Board President Tam Agosti-Gisler said she’s disappointed with Sullivan’s decision: She’s unsure how the district will fund the program in the face of a multi-million dollar district budget deficit.
The Assembly could overturn Sullivan’s veto with an eight-vote majority.