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The Times
  • School, village discuss reinstating SRO position

  • After the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where 20 students and six staff members were gunned down, the Dolgeville Central School District began discussions with the Dolgeville Village Board of Trustees about adding a school resource officer at the school. The discussions were...
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  • After the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where 20 students and six staff members were gunned down, the Dolgeville Central School District began discussions with the Dolgeville Village Board of Trustees about adding a school resource officer at the school.
    The discussions were expected to continue Monday evening when the board of trustees and the board of education were scheduled to meet to talk about reinstating the position that had been in place at the school for a number of years.
    “It’s for the protection and security of children,” said Mayor Bruce Lyon during last week’s board of trustees meeting. “Having an officer at the school is reassuring for children, parents and teachers. It makes everyone feel safer knowing an officer is there.”
    Police Chief Richard Congdon was asked by school administrators to walk the hallways of the elementary, middle and high schools the week after the Sandy Hook tragedy.
    Superintendent of Schools Christine Reynolds said the police chief’s presence not only increased security, but relieved the anxiety of students, parents and staff.
    “I instruct my officers to stop at the school when they are free during the day, because parents, students and teachers appreciate having an officer there, and because I personally believe it’s important to have an officer inside the school to interact with administrators, students and teachers. A school resource officer is an invaluable, positive resource,” Congdon said during last week’s board of trustees meeting.
    If the school resource officer position is reinstated at Dolgeville Central School, Congdon said he would like to see it filled by one or two part-time officers, similar to how the Little Falls Police Department fills its two school resource officer positions at Benton Hall Academy and Little Falls Middle and High Schools. Also similar to Little Falls, a letter sent from the school district to the village stated the district would be willing to fully or partially reimburse the village for the expense of having an officer at the school.
    “How the position is going to be funded is what needs to be discussed,” said village Trustee Larry Brandow at last week’s board of trustees meeting. “The timing also needs to be talked about. Is this something that will begin this school year, or is this something that will begin next school year? There are a few questions that need to be answered and a few items that need to be worked out before we can agree to reinstate the position.”
    In addition to providing increased security, Congdon said the school resource officer would work with school officials to handle issues before they grow into something larger, and would lead special programs and training sessions for students and faculty.
    “The school resource officer does more than security work,” he said. “They integrate themselves with the school and build relationships that are lasting and beneficial.”
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