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The Times
  • Village, school district working toward hiring school resource officers

  • Beginning with the 2013 – 2014 school year, the Dolgeville Central School District may have the help of two school resource officers.

    The part-time officers will be hired through a collaborative effort between the district, the village of Dolgeville and the Dolgeville Police Department, and will provide an additional layer of security at the school, said Superintendent Christine Reynolds.

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  • Beginning with the 2013 – 2014 school year, the Dolgeville Central School District may have the help of two school resource officers.
    The part-time officers will be hired through a collaborative effort between the district, the village of Dolgeville and the Dolgeville Police Department, and will provide an additional layer of security at the school, said Superintendent Christine Reynolds.
    “We are all on the same page and agree having an officer or two at the school will be good for the district and for the village,” said village Trustee Larry Brandow during Monday evening’s meeting between the village board of trustees and the board of education. “We just have to work out the details to make it a reality.”
    Reynolds said the district would work on crafting an interagency agreement that will need to be approved by the village and the school before the officers are hired.
    Terms of the agreement discussed Monday stated the school resource officers would be employed by the Dolgeville Police Department and contracted to Dolgeville Central School. The police department and school district would evaluate the officers, who would serve as a liaison between the police department, the school and the community.
    Reynolds also said the district will develop the job description for the position, while the village will be responsible for establishing a set fee for the provision of two part-time officers and a patrol car for the 181 days school will be in session next year.
    “The board feels it’s important to have a patrol car outside the school because we believe it can act as deterrent,” said board of education President Karen Nagle. “Seeing a marked police car outside the school may make someone pause and reconsider their actions because they know a police officer is inside. It provides another layer of security.”
    Discussing the job description, Reynolds said the school resource officers would assist in planning and implementing safety and drug awareness programs for students, would patrol the entire school building and would prepare reports, among other duties.
    “There’s a lot to being a school resource officer. If an officer is just sitting at a desk somewhere in the school building they are not doing their job. They have to be in every part of the school interacting with students and teachers. They even have to be willing to join in a game of kickball from time to time,” said Dolgeville Police Chief Richard Congdon, a former school resource officer at Dolgeville Central School. “Yes, a school resource officer is a police officer first, but they are also there to build bonds with students and help teach them right from wrong. A lot goes into the program.”
    Congdon added a male and female officer have expressed in an interest in the school resource officer position, which would call for one officer to work three days a week and the other to work two days. The school resource officers, or regular officers on duty if they are unavailable, would also be asked to have a presence at select school events.
    Page 2 of 2 - “Basically we would like to have an officer or officers present at evening or weekend events where we anticipate a large crowd like home football games, certain home basketball games, concerts and the school play,” said Reynolds.
    She added scheduling would be at her and Congdon’s discretion.
    In addition to reimbursing the village for the cost to have the officers and patrol car at the school, Reynolds said the district would also cover training costs for the officers.
    Brandow said that would be an important part of the final agreement.
    “While I agree it’s beneficial to have officers at the school, I don’t believe the village taxpayers should have to shoulder the burden because the school serves more than just Dolgeville children,” he said. “It makes sense for the school district’s taxpayers to pay for the service, because all of their children will benefit from the school resource officer.”
    Once the interagency agreement and job descriptions have been approved, and the officers have been hired, Reynolds said the school resource officers would begin work in September, outside of some days in the summer for meeting with faculty.
    “It’s unfortunate, but there is a need for a school resource officer in our schools,” she said. “Outside of general safety and security needs, there are issues a school resource officer could provide assistance with. It’s a needed program.”

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