MASSENA — Now that nominations have been received, the Massena Central School District and the Village of Massena will work together to appoint a School Resource Officer who would begin September 1.
“We have some interest in the position and are working with the Chief of Police to begin the hiring process now that the application process is complete,” Superintendent Patrick H. Brady said.
Village and district officials sought an active or retired officer from a local, state, or federal police department to serve as a special patrol officer for the district. Interested individuals were invited to complete an application and submit it along with a CV and three letters of recommendation by June 24.
The salary is in the range of $38,600, which includes insurance as well as some additional costs for equipment. The position was included in the school district’s 2022-23 budget. The individual will have an office at JW Leary.
“The SRO is actually an employee of the village. An agreement has been prepared and signed by the village and the district. It was a contract that defined the parameters of this program,” Brady said.
Now, he said, it’s time to move on to the next phase of interviewing candidates and making a selection.
“There will be representatives from the village and the district (on the maintenance committee). The successful candidate would be endorsed by the village as he is an employee of the village. The school board would not vote on that nominee,” he said.
The position is for 10 months, from September to June.
“Our goal has been to have one person on board by September 1. We are ahead of the game here. I think we will have a successful process and we can hire someone before the start of the school year,” Brady said. “Having the right person who has the experience, skills and ability to work successfully with young people is very important. It is a very important part of the process.
Massena Central and the village previously worked together to bring an ORS back to the district through an annual agreement. The District was seeking an active or retired officer to serve as a Special Patrol Officer.
Jody W. Daggett worked from the start of the 2019-20 school year until the school closed in March 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Citing potential liability, village officials chose not to renew the contract. Although Mr. Daggett worked in the Massena Central School District, he was a member of the Massena Police Department. The village was responsible for arranging the training of the SRO, supervising the work of the person and purchasing the necessary equipment for the work. Salary and benefits were paid through a Title 4 grant.
Prior to this, the district had another SRO—then patrolman Patrick J. Serguson, whose salary was paid for by both the school and the village. This position was abolished in 2007 because the village and school district no longer had the funds to maintain it.
The village trustees had approved the intermunicipal agreement before it was approved by the school board. Administrator Francis J. Carvel cast the only negative vote at the village board meeting, citing the potential for liability to the village since the SRO would be an employee of the village.
Under the resolution passed by administrators, the district would receive the services of an SRO “to further the goal of ensuring a caring, safe, respectful and orderly learning environment in its schools.”
“We are very fortunate to have the support of the school board and the village of Masséna for this program. We are very happy to bring him back,” Mr. Brady said.