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Waynesboro council supports police officer at middle school

January 18, 2007|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Waynesboro Borough Council on Wednesday agreed to support - but not guarantee participation in - an initiative to place a police officer in Waynesboro Area Middle School starting in the 2007-08 school year.

Allocating a uniformed officer to the middle school would necessitate the borough creating another position on the force, Councilman Richard "Dick" George said.

The council, on a 5-1 vote, supported Waynesboro Area Middle School's application for a Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency grant administered through the Justice Assistance Grant program. The application for the grant, which would provide $65,000 over a three-year period, also has the support of the Communities That Care youth development program, Mayor Richard Starliper said.

He said a Waynesboro Area School Board member and personnel from the middle school approached the council about supporting the grant application, which is due Jan. 26.

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The officer also would be made available to the high school, Councilman Craig Newcomer said.

In a letter to the council, Assistant Middle School Principal Kim Calimer said an officer would "act as a positive role model for impressionable 12-, 13- and 14-year-old students who are not exposed to good role models in today's society."

She also said the officer would "send a strong message that violence and inappropriate behaviors in school are not acceptable and will not be tolerated."

The officer would meet parameters in the No Child Left Behind Safe Schools Initiative, Calimer said in the letter.

Councilman Charles "Chip" McCammon voted against supporting the application, saying it would "be a burden to the borough" after the council's executive session on the matter.

A synopsis of the grant program on the PCCD's Web site says the new program's focus should be "on preventing delinquency, deterring crime and drug abuse, discouraging gang activity and stopping violence."

Grant recipients are expected to be notified by June 2007.

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