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Council OKs crime analyst, school cop

August 01, 2007|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN - The City of Hagerstown will create two additional safety service positions that are designed to help police patrol more effectively.

On Tuesday, the City Council voted 5-0 to hire a crime analyst and school resources officer.

A resources officer is a police officer who patrols public schools.

The new hire will be assigned to Western Heights Middle School for the 2007-08 academic year.

Hagerstown Police Chief Arthur Smith said last month that the Washington County Board of Education will pay $37,565, or 70 percent, toward the position's annual salary and benefits.

City Finance Director Alfred Martin said the city will pay the remaining 30 percent, or about $16,100.

The resources officer will respond to emergencies at the school, among other things, Smith said.

During holidays and the summer, when schools are closed, Smith said the resources officer will be assigned to help out in other areas.

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The new resources officer will bring the police department's total to three.

Resources officers also are assigned to North Hagerstown and South Hagerstown high schools.

Smith said the crime analyst will track crime trends so the police department can concentrate on specific areas.

The position will be paid for by a $50,700 CSAFE grant, he said.

CSAFE grants are associated with the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention.

Because the grant is awarded on a year-to-year basis, the position would be eliminated if the funding were to be discontinued, he said.

Grants of this nature usually are renewed when cities show the money has been put to good use, Smith said.

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