The Avon Local School District and Avon Police are now interviewing for a School Resource Officer (SRO). The hiring will be a first of its kind for the Avon School District.
The position will go into effect for the 2013-14 school year. Costs for the position will be split between the city and the school district although the city’s finance director said he believed there could be grants to offset the costs.
“We’re working out details,” Superintendent of Schools Mike Laub said. “We’re looking to start with a part-time position and we’ll see how it works.”
Laub said the individual would be a “full-blown police officer.”
Avon Lake School District employs a school resource officer whose costs are similarly split. That officer maintains an office at Avon Lake High School.
“(He or she) will be hired as a police officer in Avon,” Laub said. “The person will have to have (an Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy Certificate).”
While details are still being worked out,” Laub said that after going through Avon Police training, the SRO will have several school-based roles, including being in the class and advising students on making safe choices.
“It’s definitely not a DARE officer, but they’ll have a lot of the same roles,” Laub said. “There will be a focus on drug and alcohol prevention and awareness. They’ll also provide and extra layer of security.”
Laub said the district is essentially purchasing the service from the city.
“It will be a partnership (with the Avon police department),” Laub said.
The item was up for review at the March 18 Avon City Council meeting.
“We want to do this part time,” Avon Mayor Jim Smith said.
Councilman Dennis McBride said he wanted it made clear the SRO’s position had specific duties and was not at the school to act as a “first responder.”
“(He or she) is not there as a security officer,” McBride said. “I think that needs to be made clear.”
McBride said he had extensive discussions with police chief Richard Bosley about the position.
The new officer will report to the Avon superintendent.
All applicants must possess a current Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy Certificate. Applications were due March 15.