Collier Township agreed to provide “school resource officers” for the Chartiers Valley middle/high school and primary campuses, and they could begin walking the halls as early as February.
The commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday night to approve a contract with the school district that outlines the roles of the police officers, who commands them and reimbursement to the township.
This comes just a week after the township appeared to be taking its time to study the issue despite several area residents urging the commissioners to hire the school resource officers.
Township Manager Sal Sirabella said they weren’t far from agreeing to the program, but a variety of factors accelerated the agreement.
“It was a lot of work done between the commissioners, myself and (Chartiers Valley Superintendent) Brian White,” Sirabella said. “We had a framework in place and worked through various issues.”
One of those factors included a national organization that will be training officers at Bethel Park High School later this month. Sirabella said the commissioners wanted to make sure their officers could participate in that five-day training exercise and also work with Scott Township’s school resource officer.
The township police chief and board president will also review the physical security of the buildings and SRO programs with the school superintendent.
The township sent out a memo to its police department on Saturday asking for officers to volunteer for the detail. Three veteran officers stated they would be interested in filling the two available slots.
The two-year contract that would expire in December 2014 still must be approved by the school board at its Jan. 22 voting meeting. Chartiers Valley School District officials applauded the decision.
“We'd like to thank Collier Township for working with us to provide a safe environment for our students,” the school district said in a statement posted on its website. “We appreciate their support.