Levi Lewter, a Booneville High School graduate, will be the first student resource officer with the Booneville School District, Booneville Police Chief Al Brown announced last week.
Lewter, a 2006 graduate, was one of two BPD officers who expressed an interest in the position after Booneville Schools Superintendent John Parrish contacted Brown about the possibility of placing an officer at the school.
At its March 11 meeting the Booneville School Board approved the creation of an SRO position. Funding for the position coming from money the school receives through its participation in the National School Lunch Act program, Parrish said.
Parrish recommended the school pay $44,000 to have the officer, a figure that includes salary, benefits and matching contributions. Lewter will work through the school year on campus, take any accumulated leave and vacation time during the summer and spend about five weeks a year with the city.
Lewter has been with the BPD since August of 2012. He graduated from the Fort Smith Police Academy in November of 2012. Lewter was the first BPD officer trained through the FSPD rather than the state’s academy in Camden.
In order to obtain a student resource officer credential Lewter will be attending a 40-hour SRO Basic class at the Criminal Justice Institute in Little Rock during the final week of June, Brown said.
Brown said the Institute has a safe school initiative for which there are eight courses an officer could take including the understanding juvenile law, how to respond to an attacker, and planning, conducting and analyzing emergency crisis plans from table top to full drill.
The chief said the city will have start-up costs to launch the program. Those include training an officer to replace the SRO on the BPD force — a cost of about $15,000 — and the purchase of a used, equipped police vehicle which, Brown said, usually cost between $14,000 and $16,000.
Kody Smith, who is also a BHS grad, will be replacing Lewter on the BPD force, Brown said, and will be attending the FSPD Academy to complete training prior to the start of the 2014-2015 school year.
Lewter is married to Jessica (Harris) Lewter, a teacher at the school. The couple is expecting their first child, also in June. He is the son of Lesia Deeds, who is also a teacher at the school, and Shane Lewter.