At Collier Township’s voting meeting last week, several area residents urged municipal officials to immediately install a school resource officer at the middle/high and primary campuses.
But Collier officials said they want to “get it right” and are continuing to examine how to implement the program and how it fits into overall school security.
Township Manager Sal Sirabella said a school resource officer is a “key element” to school safety, but is not the only aspect.
“There have to be other improvements,” Sirabella said. “This is just one small part to make a school safe. The school board recognizes it. So does the police chief and township commissioners. It becomes a huge, continuous effort, and the school resource officer is one element of a bigger plan.”
At least five people spoke during the township’s Wednesday night voting meeting to voice their support for school resource officers to be place at the two school campuses.
Sirabella understands their concerns, but said he and the commissioners want to make sure they carefully plan out the program and have the ability to make changes if its not working.
“Whatever Scott Township does and how they build a consensus is one thing. How we do it is another,” he said. “We want to get it right, but we also want to be flexible so that if we don’t get it right, we can make changes.”
Scott Township commissioners last month agreed to begin negotiating a police contract with school administrators, but plans for a resource officer at the intermediate school still have not been finalized.
Sirabella thinks a decision on one school resource officer to split duties at the two campuses could be made within 60 days. That would allow the police department to make preparations or hire a new full-time officer or part-time officers to fill the gap.
The township is currently in the process of hiring two part-time police officers to fill out its normal roster.