Published: Oct 09, 2010 3:14 AM EDT
Updated: Oct 09, 2010 12:17 AM EDT

PUNTA GORDA, Fla - Councilman Don McCormick can't imagine the city doing away with a program he says keeps student out of trouble in both school and in the community.

"They're not there to break up food fights in the cafeteria. They're there to be a resource to the kids when they have a problem. Its someone they can go to and get some help", he said. 

Currently, the city pays 65% of the cost, roughly $150,000, to have an officer at Charlotte High and Punta Gorda Middle school. The school district picks up a little over a third of the rest of the money. 

Some council members want a 50/50 splits or threatened to have the Sheriff's Office take over the program.

"Are we going to do something symbolic by changing it to 15% for $20,000 to go through this whole exercise. I don't think its a good value and I don't think its good for the program", added McCormick.

The city's police chief agrees the program is a valued asset to the community. A point McCormick says taxpayers understand during though economic times.

"They're establishing bonds of relationships and respect that's translates into a true value to all homeowners in our city. We're the ones who get 100% benefit of this program."