A newly approved partnership between Margaretta Schools and local law enforcement could strengthen the district’s security as soon as next month.
At their meeting Wednesday, all five school board members agreed to create two officer substations, one at each district school building, effective March 31:
•An Erie County Sheriff’s substation at Margaretta Elementary School, at no cost to taxpayers. The current substation, behind the Castalia Police Department, would simply move to the new location, in an empty school office.
•A Castalia police office at Margaretta High School, a new venture costing taxpayers about $6,000 this school year. Funds would cover the officer’s salary and benefits on school days, from March 31 to June 10.
“Personally, I believe this is a very small price to pay to have an officer in our buildings,” board president JoAnn McMahon said.
Coming this week
TODAY: Margaretta Schools partners with local law enforcement.
FRIDAY: Updates on the district’s superintendent search.
SATURDAY: Townsend Community School officially unveils its new building plans.
The program will be piloted for the remainder of this school year, with the option to renew next year, if desired, board members said.
When using a substation, law enforcement officers periodically check in to file paperwork, meet students, complete reports with residents and provide other law enforcement services as needed. Officers will have 24-hour access to the location and a designated parking area for their cruisers.
The program is different from a traditional school resource officer program because the school is not constantly monitored, but it is typically more affordable.
Danbury Schools implemented a similar partnership this past year with the Danbury Police Department.
The Margaretta Elementary School officer will be housed in an office located off the Bogart Road bus loop, while the Margaretta High School officer will be stationed in the school’s main lobby, superintendent Ed Kurt said.
Officials representing Castalia and Margaretta Township supported the collaboration, which Kurt described Wednesday as a “win-win”