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school resource officer

Pavilion's new SRO welcomed to school district at Monday's board meeting

By Howard B. Owens
deputy trevor sherwood
Deputy Trevor Sherwood
Photo by Howard Owens

The Pavilion Central School District Board of Education members warmly welcomed Deputy Trevor Sherwood as the district's new School Resource Officer at their Monday evening meeting.

Sherwood's new position begins with the start of the school year, and he said he's excited to get going.

He said the job is a chance to have a positive impact on the lives of young people.

"I grew up here -- not necessarily in Pavilion, but in Batavia, just down the road," Sherwood told The Batavian after the meeting. "The biggest thing is I have a younger brother who is still in high school. I think I can be a positive role model."

A former star athlete in basketball and baseball at Batavia High School, Sherwood said one of the aspects of the job he's looking forward to is supporting the Golden Gophers in their athletic programs.  He's on board, he said, with Gopher Pride.

"I've always tried to be a positive role model, especially in sports," Sherwood said. "I've been out of touch with (sports) for years. I've coached previously, junior league baseball and stuff like that years ago, and I thought one of the biggest things is that it would be cool to be around sports again."

pavilion board of eduction sherwood
Front row, left: Rebecca Dziekan, Margaret Gaston, Callin Ayers-Tillotson, Marirose Ethington; back row, Christopher Jeffres, Kevin Stefan, Trevor Sherwood, and Jeff Finch.
Photo by Howard Owens

Pavilion's new SRO up for approval, five other districts to renew contracts

By Joanne Beck

In preparation for another school year, Genesee County Sheriff William Sheron notified the Public Service Committee this week of renewals for five school resource officers totaling nearly $670,000 in contract costs while Pavilion Central School is preparing to bring its new SRO on board.

The terms for the other five districts range from 10 to 24 months for SROs Eric Meyer with Alexander, Josh Brabon with Byron-Bergen, Ryan Young with Elba, Jordan Alejandro with Oakfield-Alabama and Patrick Reeves with Pembroke school districts. Expenses are reimbursed by each district for the hourly rate, fringe benefits and insurance. 

And as for the pending open position at Pavilion Central School, the contract for a new SRO is on Monday’s school board agenda, Pavilion Superintendent Kate Hoffman said Friday. She will issue a statement after the board’s expected approval on Monday, she said.

The open SRO position at Pavilion Central School became vacant earlier this summer when Deputy Jeremy McClellan was asked to leave the role. He remains employed at the Sheriff’s Office. McClellan's departure was strongly contested by Pavilion families and community members.

The breakdown of each negotiated price for those SROs already in place, based on the type of medical or buy-back plan chosen, per district is as follows:

  • Alexander, at 12 months, is $98,838.04
  • Byron-Bergen at 12 months is $104,036.73
  • Elba for 24 months is $241,138.53
  • Oakfield-Alabama for 12 months is $119,980.39
  • Pembroke for 10 months is $104,433.78

The Genesee County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association 2020-23 Labor Agreement contract I is to expire on Dec. 31, and the hourly rate for 2024 and 2025 will not be known until it is ratified, according to the resolution; therefore, the rate listed include the current 2023 hourly rates. The yearly retirement and medical rates are also not available until late fall each year, and therefore the rate listed includes 2023 rates. 

Once all of the rates have been confirmed, they will be modified, and, if applicable, the difference will be billed under a separate invoice, or a credit will be applied.

The contracts will go to the county Legislature for final approval. 

What do these school resource officers do? During a presentation to the city school board earlier this year, Batavia’s SRO, Miah Stevens, said the answer is simple.

“We're just placed in the school. We do everything we would do on the road and more. We get to build relationships with students, we get to kind of act as counselors in certain situations,” she said during that June board meeting. “For our agreement with the schools, we go to the training from the state of New York Police Juvenile Officers Association. So we are members of this, and basically, they just help us stay up to date on laws that change or any other information that we should need to know.”

SRO's duties include disturbances, criminal mischief, building relationships and prom

By Joanne Beck
SROs Borchert and Stevens
File Photo of Batavia City School District School Resource Officers Connor Borchert and Miah Stevens.

School Resource Officer Miah Stevens receives a lot of questions about what she does every day at Batavia City Schools, and the answer is simple, she says.

“We're just placed in the school. We do everything we would do on the road and more. We get to build relationships with students, we get to kind of act as counselors in certain situations,” she said during the school board’s meeting this week. “For our agreement with the schools, we go to the training from the state of New York Police Juvenile Officers Association. So we are members of this, and basically they just help us stay up to date on laws that change or any other information that we should need to know.”

She gave the presentation along with the latest addition, second SRO Connor Borchert, who began in September 2022.

"So the roles of an SRO wear many different hats, as you all may know, but typically, the goals of a well-defined SRO program include providing safe learning environments in our nation's schools providing valuable resources, school staff members, fostering positive relationships with youth, developing strategies to resolve problems affecting youth and protecting all students so that they can reach their fullest potential. This is right off of a national school resource officer website,” Borchert said.

A school resource officer (SRO) is defined by that state site as “a carefully selected, specifically trained, and properly equipped law enforcement officer with sworn authority, trained in school-based law enforcement and crisis response and assigned by an employing law enforcement agency to work collaboratively with one or more schools using community-oriented policing concepts.”

So when Stevens is asked what she does, she explains that “we need to participate in the program,” no matter what program that may be. She and/or Borchert were at open houses, Careers and Candy, Shop with a Cop, Polar Plunge, family reading nights, Thanksgiving food drives, bike raffles, Golisano’s Hospital toy drive, Community Night Out, and Lion’s Club Day of Caring.

They were also at various sporting events and banquets, school dances, plays, musicals, the Mr. Batavia competition and graduation ceremonies.

“You know, we're definitely looking for more opportunities to get in the classroom, so the kids know our names and we know their names is truly helpful,” Stevens said. “Some of this is police jargon, it's what we would consider a call, you know, dealing with, we do a lot of community policing, assist, citizen can call for anything. We're doing lockouts for somebody in the parking lot to having somebody with a personal problem. But basically, we have a large range of different types of things we handle, like I said, pretty much anything that we would handle on  the road, if it involves the school in any way.

“You know, it just creates a partnership where now, if students get into an altercation outside of school, they are now coming into school and a lot of times those problems come with them. So it kind of gives the school another resource,” she said. “We get to be that liaison where they can say hey, we heard so and so I was involved in an incident … is there anything we should be on the lookout for and then I can either go back and either I'm getting an email from one of my co-workers or I'm going back and looking at the call log and reading the call and being able to say, okay, this is kind of what we should expect from this.”

Incidents handled or SRO involvements (no total numbers provided) in the 2022-2023 school year included:

  • Harassments
  • Disturbances
  • Suspicious Conditions
  • Mental Health Situations
  • Community Policing
  • Assist Citizen
  • Bus Issues
  • Fire Alarms (Intentional and Accidental)
  • Property Accidents
  • Larcenies
  • Courtesy Transports
  • Superintendent’s Hearings
  • Classroom Lessons
  • Check Welfare
  • Students and staff personal issues
  • Criminal Mischief
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Home visits
  • 911 Hangup calls
  • Parking Complaints
  • Property Complaints
  • Sporting events
  • Lockdown/ Fire Drills
  • Mediations

Stevens said that adding a second SRO allowed for more feasible coverage of five schools, split up coverage for both officers, and allowed for more positive interactions with staff and students. Both officers will be working toward future goals of a DARE program and the I Love You Guys standard response protocol, which is to enhance proactive communication between the school district, police department and community.

“It's easier now to build relationships with the school community, we have a lot more positive interactions with staff and students, which is really the goal and that's really what we're looking for," she said. "You know, I've had so many more people come up to me this year, now that they're used to seeing my face and they're saying, Oh, my God, I'm so glad you're here today. And then when they get to see both of us and we're both walking around the football games, and we're both handling prom, you know, I had multiple parents come up to us the other night when we were at prom and say, I'm so thankful that you guys are gonna be here all night. Because it's just in this era. It's just, it's an easier solution.”

Elba hires school resource officer as part of overall safety process

By Joanne Beck

Elba Central School may be the last district in Genesee County to bring a school resource officer on board, but it has been part of a post-pandemic plan for the district, Superintendent Gretchen Rosales says.

With an eye on priorities, Rosales felt this was the right time to add an officer as part of a deliberate process once she became superintendent in 2021. The district’s additional personnel — a social worker, school resource officer and prevention educator — are to not only ensure physical safety, but also that “our mental health needs were being met,” she said.

“All schools have to carefully watch spending, but small rural schools often carry an extra burden.  There are many mandates we need to cover, along with making sure that we have top-notch academic programs and well-rounded extracurricular activities. Elba has steadily built this strong foundation,” Rosales said in response to The Batavian’s questions about hiring a SRO. “When we began to come out on the other side of the pandemic, we first wanted our focus to be on a comprehensive mental health program. COVID really opened our eyes to the unique struggles that our students and their families were facing.  This became my focus in my first year as superintendent, and my first step was to hire a full-time social worker. 

"We have also contracted with GCASA to have a prevention educator on staff on a weekly basis," Rosales said. "Once we had these pieces in place, we were ready to consider moving toward hiring a school resource officer.”

Ally Terranova was hired for the social worker position this year, and she “has already made great strides in supporting the students and families,” Rosales said. Deputy Ryan Young was more recently hired through Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. Adding the extra supports began in late spring of this year, and the process included communicating with the community, teachers, staff, and students as “an important part of determining the need.”

The district sent out bilingual surveys to ensure the “considerable Spanish-speaking population” was included and able to respond. Interested parties were asked to join a related committee and there was “a lot of listening involved, and engaging in rich dialog about what our district really needed,” Rosales said. 

“We took our time with this process because we wanted to make the right decision and hire someone who would best support the Elba community,” she said. “My school community has been incredibly supportive.  I have had a steady stream of communication via phone, email, and in-person by family and community members who have expressed appreciation that the District has a fully dedicated law enforcement officer on staff.  To have a person with their eyes on security and safety is a critical part to ensuring that students can focus on learning.”

“Deputy Young has already fully integrated himself into the school community; he's visited all of the elementary classrooms as well as the secondary social studies classes,” she said. “He has lunch with the students, attends leadership meetings, chaperoned the homecoming dance, and has met the community at games. It is safe to say that our school resource officer is a full-fledged Lancer already.”

Elba now joins Alexander, Batavia, Byron-Bergen, Le Roy, Oakfield-Alabama, Pavilion and Pembroke school districts in having at least one school resource officer at the district. Batavia City Schools added a second officer this year. The positions add about $80,000 to $100,000 in salary and benefits each to a district budget.

Photo of Deputy Ryan Young, Elba's new school resource officer, submitted by Elba Central School.

Batavia City Schools board agrees to pursue 'long overdue' second SRO

By Joanne Beck

A proposal to hire a second School Resource Officer wasn’t a matter of “if” Thursday evening.

From the city schools board comments, it’s a matter of when.

Superintendent Jason Smith believes that, given “recent tragic events over the past month” in Buffalo and Texas, that school safety concerns have once again been heightened.

“I have been personally contacted by parents and staff members about adding a second School Resource Officer,” he said during Thursday’s school board meeting. “The safety of our students, faculty, and staff has always been and will always be our top priority. While our district continues to implement best safety practices, we felt there was room for improvement. Our current SRO covers four schools in our district, and with the addition of Robert Morris next year, it makes this position all the more necessary and timely.

“If approved, BCSD will fully fund both SRO positions via a contract with City Council. The SROs are employed, appointed and overseen by the Batavia Police Department.”

It’s about time, Board member John Reigle said.

“I think it’s overdue,” Reigle said. “Officer Stevens has a huge workload, and it would be beneficial for her and for our district.”

Board President Alice Benedict agreed, adding that it seems as though the current officer spends a lot of time at the high school and, due to time constraints, cannot make it to other city schools on a regular basis.

“I think we need another one to help cover those buildings,” she said.

The other question — no small detail — was about how to fund a second officer in the district. Business Administrator Scott Rozanski said that the district will be entering Phase III of the federal COVID monies distributed two years ago, and about $200,000 had been set aside for remote learning. Smith added that the money was to be used for learning needs through BOCES, but a lack of enrollment will free up the funding for other uses. Rozanski suggested that the district could use those funds for a second SRO.

“So we can reallocate those funds and put it towards the school resource officer and then work on phasing in that position to the general fund budget, it will be similar to what we did to close all the positions this year,” Rozanski said. “So the general fund budget will slowly, incrementally increase and absorb that cost over the next two years.”

These officers are not direct employees of the district, as they are subcontracted from the City Police Department. Smith has been talking to City Council, the city manager, and the police department about a possible arrangement. One officer would cover the high and middle schools while a second officer would cover Jackson Primary, John Kennedy Intermediate, and Robert Morris.

“Our current SRO has a myriad of responsibilities including providing assistance with the District on juvenile matters affecting our students, proactive interventions with families and students, general safety and security in our schools, along with our school security aides, and working in partnership with the District in general safety programming,” Smith said.

The board — Chezeray Rolle, Korrine Anderson, Barbara Bowman, John Reigle, John Marucci and Benedict — agreed to authorize Smith to pursue hiring a second SRO. The board is expected to vote on the measure in July or August.

The Batavian has reached out to City Manager Rachael Tabelski today for further clarification about the city’s role in obtaining a second SRO for the school district. This article will be updated with her response when possible.

UPDATED 6/18/22:  City Manager Rachael Tabelski recommended that City Council extend a prior agreement for the district's first SRO earlier this year, extending the contract to June 2024. If the district moves forward with hiring a second SRO, the process will involve a final vote from the school board and City Council.

The stipulations for a School Resource Officer are:

  • The City will provide one officer to the BCSD that is a full-time City of Batavia law enforcement officer with excellent communication skills, ability to relate to children and students and planning skills.
  • The BCSD will reimburse the City of Batavia 100% of the Officers salary and employee benefits, including any overtime actually worked.
  • The City will assign a full-time SRO to the School according to a mutually agreeable schedule, between the first day of the academic year until the final day of the academic year.
  • The City remains responsible for providing a vehicle for the SRO as well as the SRO’s uniform, equipment, and training.
  • Services for the SRO will be billed based on the amount budgeted for the police officer assigned SRO duties and the actual overtime incurred during the billing cycle. Billing cycle will be on a quarterly basis.
  • The term of this Agreement commences April 11, 2022 and expires on June 30, 2024.

Photo: File Photo, 2013.  Batavia Middle School.  Photo by Howard Owens.

Jacobs joins effort to increase Federal spending on SROs

By Press Release

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) introduced the School Resource Officer Act of 2022 to provide additional funds to support School Resource Officers. The legislation was originally cosponsored by Representatives Stefanik (NY-21), Newhouse (WA-04), Bacon (NE-02), and Bost (IL-12).

“School Resource Officers play an integral role in building strong relationships between our students and police, as well keeping kids safe,” Jacobs said. “I am proud to introduce this legislation to provide additional funds to support school Resource Officers, and I will always stand with the men and women of our law enforcement and work to keep our children safe.”

“Our North Country families should always have peace of mind when dropping their children off at school,” Stefanik said. “I am proud to support this legislation that supports our law enforcement officers that protect our children, teachers, and schools.”

“I am committed to ensuring Central Washington students have the best learning environment available to them, which is why I have consistently advocated for school choice and more parental input in their child’s education. This legislation goes a step further by directing additional funding toward school resource officers, who play a critical role in making students feel safe and are responsible for developing school safety plans. This important legislation protects our students and communities while ensuring that law enforcement agencies have the resources they need in order to provide this service to their communities,” Newhouse said.

“School Resource Officers not only play a critical role in keeping schools and students safe, but they also serve as educators and informal counselors, and are important members of the school family,” Bacon said. “At a time when schools across the country are adding or bringing back School Resource Officers, this legislation will help those law enforcement agencies who have seen a reduction in funding hire additional SRO’s.”

“As a father, grandfather, and former first responder, ensuring that our children and grandchildren are safe at school is one of my top priorities. A big part of that is having dedicated school resource officers on campus to respond in emergency situations. The COPS program helps ensure that school districts have the resources and officers needed to keep students safe in the classroom,” Bost said.

The School Resource Officer Act notably has the following provisions:

  • Authorization of Appropriations: Authorizes the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program in the Department of Justice at $500,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2023 through 2026.
  • Reserves Funding Specifically for School Resource Officers: Not less than 30 percent of funding for hiring programs within the COPS program will be used to pay the salaries and benefits of school resource officers.
  • Awarded Grant Terms: Federal funds may provide up to 75 percent of salary and benefits of full-time officers with a 25 percent minimum local cash match requirement. Maximum federal share cap is increased to $125,000 per officer position.

O-A school district selects new resource officer with 'wealth of knowledge and experience'

By Press Release

Submitted photo and press release:

Genesee County Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr. is pleased to announce that the Oakfield-Alabama Board of Education selected Youth Officer Timothy G. Wescott at this week’s meeting as its new School Resource Officer for its district.   

Youth Officer Wescott is a 22-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office. He was hired as a Correction Officer in 1998, and was then appointed to Deputy Sheriff in 2000. He has held his current position as Youth Officer since 2013. During his tenure, he has earned an Officer-of-the-Year Award, a Meritorious Award, and a Commendation.

“Youth Officer Wescott is dedicated to the safety of our children and brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience,” Sheriff Sheron said. "The Oakfield-Alabama School District is fortunate to have Deputy Wescott as their new SRO."

Photo, from left: Oakfield-Alabama School Superintendent John Fisgus, Deputy/SRO Timothy G. Wescott, Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr.

Byron-Bergen, GV BOCES get new student resource officers

By Press Release

In photo from left, Superintendent Mickey Edwards, Undersheriff Bradley D. Mazur, Deputy/Byron-Bergen SRO Joshua A. Brabon, Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr.

Submitted photos and press release:

Due to the recent retirement of the Genesee Valley BOCES School Resource Officer, Deputy Richard S. Schildwaster has been assigned to fill this position. He is a six-year veteran of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and was the former SRO at Byron-Bergen Central School District.  

The Byron-Bergen Central School District has selected Deputy Joshua A. Brabon as its new SRO. Deputy Brabon is a 2012 Advanced Regents graduate of L.A. Webber High School in Lyndonville, and a 2016 graduate of SUNY Brockport with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Environmental Studies. Deputy Brabon brings with him experience as a former SRO at the Perry Central School District and is a two-and-a-half year veteran of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. 

Additionally, the Oakfield-Alabama, Pembroke, Alexander, and Pavilion central school districts also renewed their commitments for this year’s School Resource Officers on campus. 

Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr. has previously stated that it his goal to establish a School Resource Officer in all county schools to ensure the safety and protection of the students and faculty.

“Although the cost associated with placing a School Resource Officer in the schools is significant, I continue to believe the safety and security of our children should be of the utmost precedence,” Sheriff Sheron said.

Below, from left, Undersheriff Bradley D. Mazur, Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr., Deputy/ Genesee Valley BOCES SRO Richard S. Schildwaster, and Executive Principal Jon Sanfratello of Genesee Valley BOCES.

City board of education welcomes new school resource officer, shows appreciation to four employees

By Billie Owens

Photo of Batavia City Police Officer Jason Davis, the city school district's new school resource officer.

Submitted photos and information from the Batavia City School District:

At the Batavia City School District Board of Education meeting on Tuesday evening, trustees welcomed Batavia Police Officer Jason Davis as the District’s new school resource officer (SRO).

Officer Davis assumed his new duties on Nov. 28. He will continue the SRO work in all city schools to ensure student and staff safety as well as in building strong positive relationships between the BPD and students.

With 23 years of police experience, 20 of which have been in Batavia, Officer Davis will be a valuable resource for the District.

Board President Patrick Burk also presented four Certificates of Appreciation at the meeting.

Lisa Whitehead -- Certificate of Appreciation

Nominated by Lynn Dobbertin:

"Lisa goes above and beyond her duties every day and makes herself useful in every situation. In addition to being a classroom aide, she rides the bus home with students each day, she runs the John Kennedy School Post Office and the John Kennedy TVFCU Bank. Both before school programs allow students to participate in real life jobs and the students love being part of the clubs.

"Lisa buys snacks for the students in the classrooms that she works in so that kids are not without a snack at snack time. She is very thorough when working with students. Her expectations for student work and behavior are high. She is highly respected by both students and staff as a result."

Seana Murphy -- Certificate of Appreciation

Nominated by Dr. Cook and Mrs. Krumpek

"Seana is an important and valuable part of our support team at John Kennedy. She is always going above and beyond to support our students, families, and staff. She can often be found throughout the day with students, faculty, and parents working through questions or planning for student success.

"Her 'out of the box' thinking enables us to come up with creative interventions for students leading to increased achievement and success in the classroom. Mrs. Murphy also coordinates our Check-in, Check-out program for many of our at-risk students.

"Her students love her and value the time she spends with them. She is extremely organized, phenomenal at collaborating and communicating her ideas and extremely dedicated to our students. We are blessed to have her as part of our John Kennedy family."

Barb Roba -- Certificate of Appreciation

Nominated by Dr. Cook and Mrs. Krumpek

"Barb is an important and valuable part of our support team at John Kennedy. She helps with building-wide initiatives and sits on several committees where she advocates for the needs of our students and families. Mrs. Roba goes above and beyond to support our students and help them integrate skills for coping, emotional regulation, and problem solving.

"She seeks ways to improve the services we offer to students to better meet their needs. This year she is piloting a Social Emotional Learning Curriculum with some of our fourth-grade classes and is the counselor for our new Primary Project program for our second-graders.

"She is dedicated to the school and more often than not gives up her lunch, plan and after school time to help faculty or students with any concerns they have. The relationships she builds with students, staff and families are priceless. She is truly loved and respected at JK and we are honored to have her as part of our John Kennedy family."

John Dehm -- Certificate of Appreciation

Nominated by Dr. Cook and Mrs. Krumpek

"John Dehm is an outstanding faculty member. John is an important and valuable part of our support team at John Kennedy. He goes above and beyond to build relationships with our students and families.

"He has taught many of our kids valuable social skills like making eye contact and giving strong, firm handshakes. He is a patient and kind person who never says no to the many things that are asked of him each day. He is truly loved and respected by all and has become a staple in our building.

"John does an amazing job making sure our building, students, and staff are safe and feel safe. He is truly dedicated to our JK family and we are excited and honored to have him on our JK team."

Council to consider school resource officer proposal for Batavia City School District

By Mike Pettinella

The Batavia City Council tonight agreed to consider a proposed five-year agreement to provide School Resource Officer services to the Batavia City School District -- something Police Chief Shawn Heubusch believes is long overdue.

Heubusch elaborated on a recent memo he sent to Council about the Memorandum of Understanding that he and City School District Superintendent Christopher Dailey developed, with the hope of the board’s approval at its next Business meeting on July 8.

Tonight’s meeting was a combination Conference and Business meeting at City Hall Council Chambers and set the stage for a pair of public hearings for the July 8 meeting – one to support a NYS Office of Community Renewal Community Development Block Grant requested by Genesee Dental and the other to advance $25,000 in funds earmarked for Dwyer Stadium repairs a year earlier than originally appropriated.

On the subject of an SRO for Batavia, Heubusch said he was a bit puzzled as to why the largest district in Genesee County was the only one not to have a designated officer.

“Yes, it does surprise me a little bit. In speaking with Sheriff (William) Sheron over at the county, our actual agreement kind of mirrors what they’re doing with their different school districts so it only makes sense,” he said.

“We’ve had a lot of calls for service at the school, just because there’s a large population in the City when school is in session. It is a little surprising that we haven’t had an SRO until this time, but it is much needed.”

In his memo, Heubusch outlined numerous benefits to having an SRO for Batavia schools, including: student/faculty safety, of course; along with enforcement; relationship building and communication with law enforcement; counseling services; tackling issues involving substance abuse and peer pressure; conflict resolution; and crisis training and response.

The chief said he has applied for grants and tried to fund the position through the budget process, but has been unsuccessful.

“So this year, the superintendent and I sat down and put our heads together and came up with a pretty good Memorandum of Agreement/Understanding, I believe, where the school district and the City share the cost of the school resource officer proportionately,” he said.

Heubusch said the MOU calls for the school district to pay 83 percent of the cost of an entry-level police officer and the City to pay 17 percent. That 83/17 split would remain the same for the life of the contract.

“It stays with that percentage throughout the life of the agreement (five years), so it kind of guarantees some longevity to the program,” he said. “The hopes would be that in five years or four years we renegotiate that contract, come up with another contract that will take us out another five years.”

The agreement starts with one SRO in year one, but increases to two in year two, and three in year three, Heubusch said.

“The idea is to get the three school resource officers for the district – one being assigned to the high school, one being assigned to the middle school and the third one floating between the elementary and parochial school,” he said.

Since the SRO would be a City Police Department officer, he or she could be recalled by the Chief if needed.

“As the agreement calls for, if there is an emergency situation and we need to recall that officer for whatever it may be – our staffing is short or we have a major incident – there is some notification that takes place with the school district, but we’d be able to recall that officer in an emergency situation,” Heubusch said.

“The intent is to make sure that officer is present (in the school) as much as possible – 100 percent of the time, quite honestly, (from September through June) in the school district to do the job that they’re there to do. I don’t foresee us having to recall that officer on a regular occasion.”

City Manager Martin Moore reported to Council that the SRO would have a vehicle, adding to the department’s inventory.

Council unanimously moved the proposal to the July 8th Business meeting.

In other action, Council approved a National Night Out event for 6-8 p.m. Aug. 8 at City Church at St. Anthony’s on Liberty Street. Part of a community-building campaign that promotes police/community partnerships and neighborhood relationships, it is free to the public. Food and refreshments will be provided.

Watch for more coverage of tonight's City Council meeting on Tuesday.

Oakfield-Alabama to add SRO for remainder of school year

By Howard B. Owens

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."

During first week of school, many students being greeted by School Resource officers for the first time

By Howard B. Owens

Press release:

This week was the first day of school not just for students returning from summer break, but for returning and new School Resource officers in Genesee County.

Students entering school doors this week at Pembroke, Alexander, Pavilion, Byron-Bergen and Genesee Valley Educational Partnership’s (BOCES) Batavia Campus were greeted with familiar faces and new faces as Genesee County School Resource officers begin the school year. 

New SROs Deputy Patrick J. Reeves (Pembroke), Deputy Eric J. Meyer (Alexander) and Deputy Cory W. Mower (Pavilion) are excited to embark on this new assignment.

They have recently completed School Resource Officer training and have shadowed existing SROs Deputy Chad P. Cummings (Genesee Valley Educational Partnership’s –BOCES, Batavia Campus) and Deputy Matthew R. Butler (Byron-Bergen) to learn  from experiences both have had over the years in this position.

Sheriff William Sheron stated that it is his goal to establish a School Resource Officer in all county schools to ensure the safety and protection of the students and faculty.

“Although the cost associated with placing a School Resource Officer in the schools is significant, I believe the safety and security of our children should be of the utmost precedence,” the sheriff said. 

Sheriff introduces new SROs in Alexander, Pavilion and Pembroke to the community

By Howard B. Owens

Sheriff William Sheron today introduced the three deputies who will become the new School Resource Officers in Pembroke, Pavilion and Alexander school districts.

Those district's past budgets in May commitment to pay for the SRO positions on their school campuses in 2018-19.

Deputy Patrick Reeves, a 21-year veteran of the force, is the new SRO in Pembroke. He's pictured above with Sheron, Pembroke Superintendent Matthew Calderon, and in the back row, Legislator Gordon Dibble and Legislator Shelly Stein.

Reeves is a lifelong Pembroke resident who has children in the district and is a youth sports coach.

"I think this is just the next step for me," Reeves said, "make that connection with the kids, keep them focused, get them to the end of their goals, get a good career, and while I’m in school, try to help every kid that you possibly can."

He said he hopes he can be a positive influence on some of the students he deals with over the course of the school year.

"Most kids need some guidance, and if I can connect with one or two who might need it, that’s my fuel," Reeves said. "I win and the district wins."

Deputy Cory Mower, also a 21-year veteran of the department, is the new SRO in Pavilion.

Mower said he wanted to work with the Pavilion district because throughout much of his career on road patrol he's covered the southeast part of the county. He knows a lot of the students and their families already.

He also worked six years in the jail and came into contact with a lot of young people and believes that experience has given him some insight on how to help teenagers today.

"Now with the schools opening up (these positions), I just think it’s a natural progression where I can use my experience to help some kids, maybe keep some kids out of trouble, maybe help them before they get addicted to drugs or make the wrong choice, the wrong move," Mower said.

Above photo: Sheron, Mower, Pavilion Superintendent Ken Ellison, Stein, and Legislator Gregg Torrey.

Deputy Eric Meyer, who attended Alexander Central Schools all the way through high school and still lives in Alexander has been assigned to his home school district. He is the new SRO in Alexander.

"I like the idea of keeping the children safe in my own district, in my own community," Meyer said. "I also live in the community so I thought it would be a great opportunity for me and for the school to be a positive role model for these kids."

He's already visited the elementary school and many of the students recognized him, said Meyer, who joined the Sheriff's Office three years ago.

"I already see the kids looking up to me and giving me high-fives and a hand clap," Meyer said.

Above photo: Sheron, Stein, Meyer, Alexander Superintendent Catherine Huber, Torrey.

Below, a press release from the Sheriff's Office:

Genesee County Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr. announces the newest School Resource Officer assignments in three local school districts.

Pembroke Central School District has chosen Deputy Patrick J. Reeves as its School Resource Officer. He graduated from Pembroke in 1992 and is a 22-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Reeves will start in this position on Sept. 1.

Alexander Central School District has chosen Deputy Eric J. Meyer as its School Resource Officer. He graduated from Alexander in 2006 and is a three-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Meyer will start in this position on Sept. 1.

Pavilion Central School District has chosen Deputy Cory W. Mower as its School Resource Officer. He is a 22-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Mower will start in this position on July 1.

Additionally, the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (BOCES) and the Byron-Bergen Central School District also renewed their commitments for next year’s School Resource Officers on campus.

Sheriff Sheron stated that it his goal to establish a School Resource Officer in all county school districts to ensure the safety and protection of the students and faculty.

“Although the cost associated with placing a School Resource Officer in the schools is significant, I believe the safety and security of our children should be of the utmost precedence," Sheron said. "I applaud the tremendous support received from the school administrators, school boards, and the Genesee County Legislature, which ultimately made this possible.”

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