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Fallbrook Union High School District elects not to have deputy next year due to co-payment cost

The Fallbrook Union High School District (FUHSD) will lose its resource officer in the 2016-2017 academic school year due to finances, despite the great work performed by the Sheriff’s deputy.

According to FUHSD superintendent Hugo Pedroza, this has nothing to do with Detective Morgan Fomby’s work; as a matter of fact, Fomby has been praised for her outstanding work on the high school campus.

"Detective Fomby has done absolutely nothing wrong at all," said Pedroza. "We love it, and felt pretty special [having a school resource officer]."

According to Pedroza, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department made an agreement with unincorporated school districts to give them a resource officer on campus for the 2015-2016 year, covered by grant funds. Upon ending the school year, the district would be required to pay for half of the resource officer’s cost if the district chose to continue the officer's assignment for the 2016-2017 year.

"We love Detective Fomby and the Sheriff's Department has been great with us. We really liked the concept and prospect," said Pedroza. "However, we were given a budget for a school resource officer that was beyond what we could afford. With all due respect, we were expecting a reasonable amount [would be required from the district]. In this particular case, we could not justify the amount."

According to Fallbrook Sheriff's substation commander Lt. David Gilmore, the district would need to pay $119,000 next year to have a school resource officer on site. Despite the positive working relationship between FUHSD and the Fallbrook Sheriff’s substation, the amount set for a resource officer was non-negotiable, as it was set by the county.

As a school resource officer, Detective Fomby responds to calls for service on school grounds, makes arrests, and takes crime reports as necessary. In addition, Fomby has been able to work with students that are on probation and participate in campus activities.

"She even facilitated a shooter drill in January," said Gilmore. "By having a resource officer on campus, you’ve got the entire Sheriff’s Department behind the deputy. That includes the squad cars, helicopters, and other deputies from the substation. If something were to happen on campus, the school would get all those. That would be a pretty big commitment."

"There has not been a school resource officer on campus for as far as I can remember," said Gilmore. "The department came up with funds to put a school resource deputy this school year with the goal of having the schools split the cost for the next year. "It has been working successfully since day one. The district has been incredibly supportive, so it is unfortunate that the time has come that the county grant for the school year is running out, and we have to consider our options."

Pedroza stated that all unincorporated school districts received the same memo and information regarding their school resource officers. Gilmore stated that Grossmont High School might be the only school that received a school resource officer that would keep their officer for the upcoming school year.

"I expect that Fomby will finish this year, and then a decision will be made," said Pedroza. "We have loved her presence, and the lieutenant knows. If for some reason, things change and the Sheriff’s department wants to talk about it again, we would be happy to converse. In the mean time we’ll continue to cooperate and love our law enforcement."

"I have a lot of respect for the folks who work at the school district, and I don’t want anyone to perceive that the school district was anything but supportive," said Gilmore. "Working in this community has been overall pretty wonderful and a delight, and I wouldn’t want to jeopardize that. We appreciate working with the school."


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