Aug 07, 2009 Ami Olson Uncategorized
After a year’s absence, Marcellus Police officers will again be installed as School Resource Officers in the buildings of the Marcellus Central School District.
The Marcellus Village Board voted Monday night to allow the Marcellus School District to interview and hire three village officers to serve as SROs for the upcoming school year.
The district will select three officers from a list of eligible officers submitted by Wicks, allowing the school to have a greater hand in the interview and hiring process of SROs than in the past.
Mayor Mike Plochocki noted that the school’s selections would be up to a vote by the village board at their Aug. 24 regular meeting.
The details of specific programs and duties are still being worked out, but Chief Bob Wicks said the school intends to station one SRO in each school building.
Wicks said the officers would work in the school buildings during the school year from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and their main duties will include providing safety and security to students and the school, presenting educational programs, like crime prevention and bicycle safety, assisting with the investigation of crimes, and acting as a resource to whom students can report criminal activity.
Wicks said a key to preventing issues from developing later is to develop a rapport with students while they are young, and have them be comfortable interacting with the police.
“We’re there to try to address social issues with the kids and provide a resource for them to be able to approach us if they have problems,” Wicks said.
From bullying, to drug activity, to even more serious crimes, the SROs are there to help students with issues they face at school.
“There’s certainly a need for it in the schools,” Wicks said, noting the May incident in Canadaigua Academy, when police found ammunition and explosives in a student’s locker.
Board of Education member and Village Treasurer Julie Brisette said the school had gone without an SRO during the 2008-09 school year due to funding shortfalls.
The district followed suit when the state moved to cut funding for SROs and in-school programs, but when the state programs were restored, it was too late for the district to do the same.
Prior to that, two officers had been hired as SROs during the school year.
The three part-time SROs will cost the school district a total of $68,000 for the entire year, Wicks said. The Marcellus Police Department will continue to provide security at sports and other school events where the district feels they are needed, he said.
Plochocki said that village taxpayers will not pay more for the SROs, nor will they experience diminished service, as officers will work at the school in addition to their village duties.
“I think it’s a great program,” Plochocki said. “It helps the whole concept of community policing, we like the kids to see Marcellus officers at school as well as in the community.”