Perrysburg Schools soon will have a police officer helping at the high school and other schools.
Exactly when and what that officer's duties will be are still in discussion.
The officer's $76,500 annual salary will be paid mostly by the school district ($52,164). The remainder will be paid by the city, and the hiring of a new police officer was included in the recently City Council-adopted 2014 budget so that the number of police on the streets is unchanged with the school resource officer.
"I'm extremely excited," said Daniel Paez, Perrysburg police chief. "I'm very grateful for the city council and city administration for the officer, it is long overdue."
The next step for the school resource officer is for Superintendent Tom Hosler, City Administrator Bridgette Kabat, Mayor-elect Mike Olmstead, and Chief Paez to meet and discuss the details and responsibilities of the officer. They also will decide which current police officer will be re-assigned to the position.
The start date of the school officer hasn't been set but also is to be discussed by the group. Chief Paez said those particulars should be decided early next year. The officer will need training, including talking with police officers serving in other school districts, the chief said.
"The officer won't be there to deal with the aftermath, but prevent things from occurring," Chief Paez said. "Young people can make mistakes that impact their futures. There should be a trust between kids coming to the school resource officer for something on a personal level, or with the schools."
During the summer, the chief said, said the school officer will focus on reaching out to children through different programs to make sure not to lose a connection made with students during the school year. The summer could be a time to work on the school's ALICE training to help prepare against an intruder, the chief added.
Mr. Hosler said there will be station for the officer at the high school where he or she will be most of the time. But the officer will be able to go to any school in the district to talk to students or to work with school officials about safety.
"Whenever there is a school tragedy, parents want to know how we're helping prevent that," Mr. Hosler said. "We're happy to have this position fill a need."
Contact Matt Thompson at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.