Oakfield-Alabama to add SRO for remainder of school year
For the remainder of the school year, the Oakfield-Alabama Central School District has reached an agreement with the Sheriff's Office to provide a school resource officer on the district's campuses.
The Public Service Committee recommended Tuesday a budget amendment that would increase the Sheriff's budget by $42,263 to be offset by $41,263 from the school district.
Deputy Howard Wilson is expected to serve as O-A's new SRO.
Wilson's road patrol position will be filled by a new hire.
There are a number of open slots on road patrol currently, Sheriff William Sheron told the committee.
Five recruits begin law enforcement training March 11. They will attend the academy in Niagara County for 22 weeks, followed by 14 weeks of field training.
Another four recruits are expected to begin training in August or September.
In the meantime, Sheron said, the office is understaffed and deputies are working overtime. The overtime expense is offset by the open positions going unpaid.
Legislator Marianne Clattenburg asked if the Sheriff's Office has received reports from other school districts with new SROs this year -- Alexander, Pavilion, and Pembroke -- to substantiate that the program is effective.
"About a month ago, I revisted each school district and the response from superintendents and staff was overwhelmingly positive," Sheron said. "More than just being a deterrence, their are bonds being formed.
"Students are not fearful of the officers and their not afraid to share experiences with officers, sometimes about home life, which isn't always good. All I can say is every response I've gotten has been favorable from each one of the schools."