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Residents Urge Collier Township to Hire School Resource Officer

But Collier officials said they want to “get it right” and probably won’t make a decision on the school security program for another two months.

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.

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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.

Heather O January 12, 2013 at 05:33 PM
As posted before we need the community to make a stand and come to the meetings. 5-6 of us spoke to the commissioners and we need more to put pressure on them So they sign an agreement now not later. Let our voices be heard and let our kids feel that they matter and that we want to protect them Whereever they are!
Laura S January 12, 2013 at 05:45 PM
Don't expect Collier Twp. To move quickly on this! We have been trying to get the township/police dept to do something about the speeding on our street since August and absolutely nothing has been done! They say they are going to do something - to appease us - but then do nothing!
Kathy January 12, 2013 at 08:01 PM
How many of the Collier Commissioners have children or grandchildren who attend school throughout the Chartiers Valley School District? I'll bet this would not be a discussion item if the majority felt their children/grandchildren could be at risk!! If this is a matter of "lets get it right", has a task force been established to research other districts who have implemented police/resource officers throughout their district? Or are they waiting for the "right" person to show up and get hired??
same old story January 12, 2013 at 10:43 PM
KATHY, YOU SUMMONED IT UP WELL. THE "RIGHT PERSON" QUOTE WAS RIGHT ON.
Amy January 13, 2013 at 05:13 PM
And you guys would be the first one complaining if something went wrong because they jumped the gun on a plan. If you're that worried, volunteer to walk around campus yourselves until a plan is in place. Is there a no weapons policy on school grounds? My guess is yes, and in that case policy needs to change unless you want the officer to be unarmed.
Heather O January 14, 2013 at 03:44 PM
The SRO program has been in the works for over 2 years so this is not about rushing a plan. Fact is the commissioners need to sign the agreement and we need the community to stand as a solid front.

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