Updated: 08/21/2013 5:17 PM
Created: 08/21/2013 5:16 PM WHEC.com
By: Joangel Concepcion
Would you feel safer if a police officer was assigned to your child's school? After being cut for a year, Greece will be getting a resource officer back. Not only will the officer be ready to take on worst case scenarios, but they'll also be ready to handle incidents like the one that happened back in February. There were three fights over two days all at Greece Athena High School. Greece Police admitted back then if there was a resource officer on campus, they may have been able to prevent the incident.
Right now, there's money in the budget for one officer. The plan is to have the officer work mostly in the high schools, splitting time between all four campuses for now. Police and school officials both agree this is the right thing to do. The resource officer will tackle issues not only inside the schools, but try to prevent issues from spilling outside as well.
Officials believe having a resource officer on-site will improve the communication between students and faculty. They are hoping this will give officials a "heads up" on any issues that may lead to violence on campus. The program has been in the works for about a year. The school district wanted to make sure they had the funds for the position.
The resource officer will be from the Greece Police Department and we were told they would get the average salary of a regular police officer for the town. Police say parents should feel at ease and students should feel safer about the school district.
Captain Patrick Phelan, Greece Police Department, said, “Great resource for the students to have an officer in the buildings that they can get to know, get familiar with. It's a great resource for them to be able to approach that officer with any problems, concerns. So it's a great thing for the students to have that officer and that connection.
News10NBC's Joangel Concepcion asked, “Do you think that just having one is enough?”
Captain Phelan said, “It's a start. Having one is a start. It's a big school district, but we all have budgetary constraints. So we were able to do some things to implement this program with one officer for now. I think we all hope to build on it and add additional officers.”
Greece Police have applied for a federal grant to help bring on three more resource officers. They are hoping to eventually have one on-duty per high school. There is no word if or when they will get that money.
The school resource is a female. District officials say she has worked as a resource officer before and she has been involved with several programs geared towards helping young people. School officials are hoping the officer can start on September 5, the first day of school. But the town still needs to approve the hiring and there is still some paperwork to get through.