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Security director job OK'd in Chambersburg

November 29, 2007|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Two weeks ago, the Chambersburg School Board narrowly defeated a proposal to create the position of a director of security, a move the board reversed Wednesday night in a unanimous vote.

The administration Wednesday brought back a revised proposal that kept a part-time school resource officer at Chambersburg Area Middle School. The recommendation that failed earlier this month would have eliminated the position.

The district currently has a full-time officer employed by the district at Chambersburg Area Senior High School at a salary of $26,359, along with an eight-hour position at Faust Junior High School and the four-hour position at the middle school filled by Chambersburg Police Department officers.

The district pays the borough $53,576 for those officers to work the 181-day school year, according to the proposal.

The position for director of security will be advertised at a salary of $45,000 to $55,000 plus benefits. Assistant Superintendent Eric Michael said the creation of the 12-month position will cost an additional $25,000 this year for security and about $50,000 during the 2008-09 school year.

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Once the high school renovation and expansion is completed, possibly by the 2010-11 school year, the district will use Faust and CAMS as middle schools for grades six through eight. At that time, Michael said, the district could consider making the part-time position full time to allow equal coverage of the secondary schools and the flexibility for officers to go to elementary buildings as needed.

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

· Reviewing district safety and security policies and procedures

· Reviewing security at all district buildings

· Providing security training for staff.

· Working with transportation on bus safety issues

· Coordinating security for athletic and other events

· Working with Chambersburg borough and Pennsylvania State Police

The proposal stated that, since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and the killings at Columbine, districts have "begun to take steps to increase security. With the increase in violence, weapons availability and drugs, old measures of school security and discipline were not meeting the task."

For some people, the sight of a police car in front of a school is comforting, while others might find it disturbing, board member William Tolleson said. However, he said creating the position was the correct course for the district to follow.

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