District, police department enter into long term partnership

Come September, all four of Goshen Central School District’s school buildings will have its own dedicated school resource officer to assist with safety and security issues.

The district officially entered into a long term partnership with the police department to continue its school resource officer program during its board of education meeting on August 20. The motion was approved unanimously.

The move to add long term police security comes as a precaution in light of recent school shootings that have occurred across the United States.

The five-year partnership calls for one uniformed school resource officer to be stationed at each school full time during the nine months that school is in session.

According to the agreement, the SRO’s duties will include:

  • maintaining a safe campus environment that will be conducive to learning;
  • creating a unity between law enforcement and school officials;
  • improving relationships between local law enforcement, the community and its youth;
  • serving as consultants to school staff, parents and students on safety matters; and
  • acting as a role model for all students.

During the meeting, Board President Jason Pucci acknowledged the efforts made by the police department to make this possible before the start of the new school year.

“We [the board of education] feel incredibly lucky to have such a strong relationship with our police department and are so pleased to extend it over the next five years,” he said.

The agreement, which was finalized earlier this month, will allow for district school resource officers to watch for warning signs of potential violence, drug issues and other crimes, attend meetings with parents and faculty groups to promote awareness of law enforcement functions and work with each school’s building principal to develop safety plans and strategies to prevent and/or minimize dangerous situations.

“This is an incredibly important moment for the district and its families,” Superintendent of Schools Daniel Connor said, noting in the wake of recent school shootings, Goshen’s municipal and school officials began discussing last spring on how to strengthen its law enforcement presence.

“We hope that this can help put parents’ minds at ease,” added board member Judy Green.

Though instances of threatening behavior and breaches of security are rare, the Goshen Central School District would like to continue to proactively take the initiative to improve security measures at all of its school buildings. To that end, the district would like its families to know that additional suggestions are always welcomed. For more information about the school resource officer program, please contact your school building’s main office or attend the next school board meeting.