Perkins cuts school cops

PERKINS TWP. Budget restraints have left two gaping holes at Perkins schools. The sch
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



Budget restraints have left two gaping holes at Perkins schools.

The school resource officers, Dan McLaughlin and Tonya Corbin, will greatly reduce the amount of time they spend at Perkins High School and other school buildings.

"Since the trustees aren't replacing any of our full-time officers, for whatever reason, that program is in jeopardy," said Perkins police Lt. Al Matthews. "The only times a Perkins officer will be at the school is unless they get a call there."

On a daily basis, the school resource officers spent time at each building in the district.

In addition to providing safety and security, the officers taught two DARE classes a week, assisted teachers, had peer group meetings with students and held counseling sessions with parents, students and counselors.

"Dan's really good at math, so he would help students who were struggling in math. Anything they could do to help the kids, they were involved," Matthews said.

The officers also responded to about 100 to 150 incidents at the schools last year, with more than 60 percent of those resulting in some type of arrest, mediation or warning. Most of the incidents involved tobacco or vandalism, Matthews said.

School board President Brian Printy said he has not gotten final word the officers will only be in the schools on an on-call basis.

"The chief and the school board are still trying to work on a plan, but as of right now, this is the plan," Matthews said. "We are not sure how far our services are cut for the community. We are trying to do as much as we can with the limited amount of manpower we have."

Will Spence, co-founder of a parents group, was discouraged by the development.

"It's not a good thing," he said. "I think any time we have the opportunity to have synergy in the community between the schools and police, I think it's a very important part of the learning process."