The Millcreek Township School District is looking to hire an armed Police Officer to be present daily at the High School and Intermediate School.
With the school board’s approval last night, Millcreek’s Superintendent, Bill Hall, is now exploring the possibilities of bringing in an armed officer and is starting talks with the Millcreek Police Department this week.
Armed officers roam the halls of several area schools. The Millcreek Township School District is looking to join the list. The School Board has given the Superintendent the approval to search for a School Resource Officer, or SRO. An SRO is a specially trained law enforcement officer responsible for providing security and crime prevention services in schools. Hall says, “if we are going to put someone in that position we need to have the most highly trained person in that position, especially if they are carrying a weapon”.
Hall also says he plans to talk with Millcreek Police on the needs of the district and the possibility of working together to bring a full-time officer into the schools every day throughout the school year. “We take the safety of our students very seriously. We have lockdown drills, we have drills we don’t publicize. You have to be prepared for the worst day.”
Other districts who have SRO’s say they are not here because there is a problem with the district, they are here to enhance the safety of the students both in and outside the building. Lawrence Park Police Officer Mark Riggle has been the School Resource Officer for the Iroquois School District for the past five years. Riggle tells us, “being a police officer, I am connected to dispatch and if we have issues; I can direct-line the principal or superintendent and I let them know we have an issue and if we need to do something to make our school safer we can do that”.
The Iroquois School District has the longest standing SRO program in the county. Riggle tells us, “it’s a good presence. The kids aren’t focused on my gun, they are focused on me and getting to know me”.
If they work out a plan with Millcreek Police, they would most likely share the cost between the schools and the police. Hall says he hopes to have this position filled by the end of next month.