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Chambersburg School Board votes against creating security position

November 15, 2007|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - By a 5-4 vote, the Chambersburg School Board on Wednesday rejected a proposal that would have created the position of director of security, but the proposal likely will be reworked and voted on again.

The district currently has full-time officers at Chambersburg Area Senior High School and Faust Junior High School and a part-time position at Chambersburg Area Middle School. The officers at Faust and the middle school actually are Chambersburg police officers who are contracted by the district to work during the school year.

The administration was proposing eliminating the part-time position at the middle school and creating a year-round position of director of security at a salary of between $45,000 and $50,000 plus benefits.

The money saved from eliminating the middle school officer partially would offset the additional costs of a full-time director of security, according to the proposal.

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Board members Norman Blowers, Joel Happel, Stanley Helman, Fred Rice and William Tolleson voted against the proposal. Board President Thomas Orndorf and board members Lori Leedy, David Sciamanna and Renee Sharpe voted for the measure.

"I'm not comfortable with it in its current form," Tolleson said. Several board members expressed concerns about removing the officer from the middle school.

"At some point ... we'll probably revisit this and need someone at CAMS," Happel said.

Superintendent Joseph Padasak said there have been conflicts between the officer and administration at CAMS and that the school has not had need of a police officer this fall. The full-time officer at Faust could split time between there and the middle school, he said.

After the proposal was defeated, Padasak said he would resubmit it with police coverage for the middle school.

In addition to law enforcement in schools, the director of security's duties would include:

· Reviewing district safety and security policies and procedures.

· Review security at all district buildings.

· Work with transportation on bus safety issues.

· Coordinate security for athletic and other events.

· Work with Chambersburg borough and Pennsylvania State Police.

"Every year, there are more safety issues that we have to be made aware of and we need someone to coordinate that," Sharpe said.

Eventually the district might need officers at the three secondary schools and another officer to handle security problems at its 17 elementary schools, Padasak said. Security problems at the secondary schools usually involve students, but at the elementary schools, parents usually are the problem, he said.

"We are mandated to report abuse and there's a lot of that," Padasak said of one issue facing elementary students. The district also is called upon to deal with custody issues, ensuring that only a legally authorized parent is picking up a child, he said.




How they voted



By a 5-4 vote, the Chambersburg School Board on Wednesday rejected a proposal that would have created the position of director of security.

For - Board members Norman Blowers, Joel Happel, Stanley Helman, Fred Rice and William Tolleson

Against - Board President Thomas Orndorf and board members Lori Leedy, David Sciamanna and Renee Sharpe

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