The police department, fighting a chronic staffing shortage, has pulled one of the school resource officers out of Harry W. Bailey Middle School. The department will replace longtime SRO Doug Bauman \u2014 who will return to the Patrol Division \u2014 with one of what previously were two \u201cfloating\u201d SROs to serve all six elementary schools, officials said Monday. For the immediate future, the six elementary schools \u2014 Forest, Seth G. Haley, Edith E. Mackrille, Alma E. Pagels, Savin Rock and Washington \u2014 will share one SRO, supplemented by periodic visits by patrol officers during the day, said Deputy Chief of Police Joseph Perno. West Haven High School and Bailey each will continue to have two SROs and May V. Carrigan Intermediate School will continue to have one, Perno said. The changes went into effect as part of the periodic schedule change that takes place at the WHPD every eight weeks, Perno said. No one is happy about it \u2014 not Perno, not Superintendent of School Neil Cavallaro and not parents of kids in school. \u201cYou\u2019ve got to understand, you\u2019ve got six elementary schools,\u201d said Carrie Malangone, president of the West Haven PTA Council, which oversees the PTAs at all nine schools. \u201cGod forbid, if anything ever happens, how fast is that officer going to be able to make it across town from one school to another?\u201d asked Malangone, who also is president of the Parent, Teacher & Students Association, or PTSA, at Bailey and the Forest School Parent-Teacher Association, or PTA. \u201cOne floater for six elementaries, that\u2019s a little tough,\u201d she said. Perno, who made the decision, said it bothers him, too. \u201cI\u2019m upset about it. I\u2019m sure there are others that are just as upset about it,\u201d Perno said. \u201cBut it\u2019s the staffing.\u201d Perno said that in his estimation, the number of SROs previously in the schools wasn\u2019t enough, either. But he also believes \u201cit was costing too much in overtime\u201d to maintain that level of staffing. So at a time when the department is down considerably from its full, budgeted strength of 120 \u2014 currently at 107 and expected to be down to about 103 by the end of the month \u2014 he reluctantly reduced it by one. \u201cIt was something that I did not want to do,\u201d Perno said. \u201cIt was something I had to do \u2014 and I probably will have to do more.\u201d SRO Kim DeMayo, who previously was one of the elementary school \u201cfloaters,\u201d will replace Bauman at Bailey, joining SRO Chris Cinque, he said. Superintendent of Schools Neil Cavallaro said that if the situation remains that way for long, he and other school officials will look at the possibility of hiring additional private security officers. \u201cAssistant Chief Perno called me and explained the situation\u201d and assured him that any problems related to the loss of one school resource officer \u201cwould be made up by extra patrols\u201d during the day. The Board of Education pays 80 percent of the salaries for school resource officers. Malangone said that in addition to the loss at the elementary school level, Bailey students, parents and staff will miss Bauman. \u201cKim, she\u2019s a very good officer. But Bauman had already kind of planted his feet into the ground,\u201d Malangone said. \u201cAll the kids know him. ... Bauman had a relationship with a lot of these kids. \u201cI think he built a very strong rapport with them\u201d and was consequently able to defuse and avoid problems that might otherwise have arisen, she said. Aprile Johnson, the mother of eighth-grade twins at Bailey and one of the school\u2019s PTSA vice presidents, said that with fewer staff, she was concerned DeMayo might be relied on to continue working at the elementaries in addition to working at Bailey. At Bailey, \u201cwith 1,000 teenagers in one building, you need two SRO officers\u201d full-time, Johnson said. \u201cBailey and West Haven (High) completely need two armed cops at all times,\u201d she said. West Haven\u2019s manpower shortages comes nearly 10 years after the city, as the result of an arbitration award, switched the Police Department from a chronically-underfunded traditional pension plan to a 401(k). Police of late have been pushing the city to switch back, saying the switch was a bad deal that has caused experienced cops to retire or take their experience to other departments \u2014 and has resulted in newly-recruited officers coming in, getting trained and then moving on. In the years since the change, which took place in 2009 when John Picard was mayor, not having a pension plan \u2014 coupled with comparatively low pay \u2014 has turned West Haven from a respected police department that officers aspired to come to the equivalent of a minor league farm team, police brass, rank-and-file officers and union officials say. Today\u2019s WHPD is a place where new officers get hired and get trained \u2014 at a cost of $70,130 per recruit before they go out on the street \u2014 then take their experience somewhere else, cops have said.