School Resource Officer begins in August, 2018
The Wayne County Sheriff’s Dept., Wayne Cou. Commissioners, & Northwestern School District have approved the School Resource Officer agreement for this 2018-2019 school year. Deputy Adam Chellis is officially the Northwestern SRO.
The district will share more information about Adam Chellis in the fall newsletter!
School Safety & Security – an update:
We held a second School Safety and Security Community Forum on June 25th from 6:00PM – 7:00PM in the Northwestern HS Library. The purpose of this meeting was to provide an update of what we have completed, what is in process, and future considerations regarding school safety and to enlist support for a school resource officer for the 18-19SY. This meeting immediately preceded our monthly Northwestern Board of Education Meeting. Northwestern has and will continue with our proactive approach to school safety, security, and potential violent or explosive situations. We have been working with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Dept. and Wayne County Commissioners the past several months on the proposal for the shared SRO (School Resource Officer), which is a Deputy Sheriff with ongoing significant training. The proposal is that an SRO would be employed and utilized as Northwestern SRO during the school year and an active on the road Deputy in the summer months. The Wayne County Sheriff’s Dept. receives $30,000 in funding from the Wayne County Commissioners, which would cover an est. 1/3 of the total cost. This agreement reduces our costs for the SRO and still serves the school needs. The district’s cost for the SRO is $60,000 (training, salary, insurance, equipment, vehicle, and other costs). The district would be very grateful for any financial support from community and businesses for this added cost.
We also had been working in collaboration with other superintendents and the Tri-County ESC for many months on a county-wide 1 mil levy or sales tax that would be utilized for school safety and security. However, these proposals fell through and individual districts are proposing levies or finding other ways to fund SROs in their districts. This is what has led Northwestern to add additional millage to the PI renewal LEVY THIS November. Collection of the levy would not begin until July, 2020.
Below is a summary of the many safety and security discussions and actions since January:
Continued efforts focusing on individual student needs and climate/family issues – especially anger management, self-esteem, relationships, and resiliency ? Wayne County Bullying Conference (Mrs. Beun has taken an active role and was a panel members and speaker for this spring county-wide event as well) ? Updated and replaced several security cameras ? Provided Staff “Unarmed Self-Defense training” in an intruder situation for staff in all three buildings voluntarily ? Purchased and distributed pepper spray to administrators, secretaries, custodians, interested bus drivers, and other key employees ? Purchased magnetic door lock pads for classroom doors ? Replacement of MS Entrance Security Camera system Efforts in Process (in place by August, 2018 or early fall): ? Employment of a Full-Time School Year School Resource Officer for Northwestern ? increasing Northwestern Pi Levy from 2.8 mills to 4.0 mills (these additional funds will allow the district to utilize funds we had been using to supplement the ever increasing PI costs so we can instead utilize these funds for the SRO costs as well as costs for increased building security ? Peer supports – recent graduates & strong leaders interacting with MS students (training through ANAZAO) ? MS Building Door reinforcements (incl. smoked replacement glass, reinforcements, etc.) ? Involvement in the “Stop the Bleed” initiative (emergency response and anti-hemorrhage discussions, logistics, training) ? Planning School Bus Training in August ? Adding security cameras to our new school van (we already have multiple cameras on every school bus) ? Studying additional secondary door lock systems for classrooms ? Add an additional 3 Security Cameras on campus ? Continued anti-bullying initiatives ? Applied for and received funding for a District office base MARCS radio unit (this is in addition to the base radio we had purchased three years ago for each school building – note that we have had numerous walky-talkies throughout the district for several years as well ? Providing more comprehensive Staff “Unarmed Self-Defense training” in an intruder situation for all staff during Sept. 2018 professional development days ? SRO monitoring of social media ? SRO educating through DARE programming ? We have added a High School Linkage Liaison for increased student supports as well as an Elementary Teaching position to provide focused and more intensive student supports. Continuation of current initiatives and ongoing discussions ? Purchasing additional direct intercom phones to reach the entire building in emergency ? Expanded access of our security cameras to Sheriff Dept. Deputies on their electronic devices ? Mandate that all Secondary exits remain locked and secured – no propping or unlocking of doors Future efforts (these are items we are pursuing, but whether due to cost, degree of impact, additional time needed, labor needed, or logistics cannot occur sooner).
We will be pursuing these as able, but with passage of a safety & security levy these can surely be pursued in summer 2019 and beyond ? MS Door replacements and additional reinforcements ? Entrance bulletproof glass coating ? Installation of additional security cameras TBD ? Install a gate across the NE corner of the HS Building across to the storage building and fencing to secure the back of the HS ? Improved security to secondary exits through cameras, peepholes, and alarms ? Software to potentially scan social media for key phrases, threats, and self-harm ? Multi-directional signal boosters for MARCs handheld radios ? We are searching for additional school safety, opioid, or DARE officer content, if we can qualify for grant money As I have shared before, the very best deterrent is many situations is forging and maintaining strong relationships and communications with staff, students, and parents; addressing mental health and behavioral issues, dealing with any bullying behavior immediately, as well as providing additional counseling supports for students and families as provided with existing staff, Catholic Charities, ANAZAO, families, and local clergy. The $41,000 grant we have received for these counseling agencies to work with our students most in need in all of our school buildings through Wayne County JFS through Title XX funds as approved by the Wayne County Commissioners has been a much needed additional support for our children each of the past 3 years.