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TMCNet:  Riverside OKs cash to put police in schools

[December 29, 2012]

Riverside OKs cash to put police in schools

TAYLOR, Dec 28, 2012 (The Times-Tribune - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- The Riverside School Board voted to allocate $45,000 to hire school resource officers in all three of the district's school buildings to be on patrol throughout the rest of this school year.

In the aftermath of the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., members of the school board gathered with Taylor and Moosic police chiefs, as well as officials from both boroughs, to discuss the best safety options for the district.

As a special meeting Thursday, board President Robert Bennie said the focus for teachers and staff should be on educating kids, and that keeping children safe should be the responsibility of professionally trained police officers equipped to deal with dangerous situations.

"In light of recent events, the board and the superintendent thought it would be best to look into additional security measures for our schools," Mr. Bennie said.

The motion allows Superintendent David Woods to scour the schools' 2012-13 budget for $45,000 to pay for officers from both the Taylor and Moosic police departments to be stationed at Riverside High School, East Elementary and West Elementary.

Despite a "shoestring" budget, Mr. Bennie said the district would find the money for the officers no matter how much rearranging it took.

"There's no price we can put on this. It's our kids, and that's the bottom line," he said.

A local law enforcement official will go through the district buildings Wednesday for a security assessment at no cost to the district, analyzing structures, plans and current policies to see how safety strategies can be improved, the board said.

Contact the writer:, @ksullivanTT on Twitter ___ (c)2012 The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pa.) Visit The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pa.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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