Pomfret asked to pay more for school resource officer

The Fredonia Central School District is looking to expand its school resource officer to full-time status. This decision may cost the town of Pomfret more money.

Councilwoman Ann Eckman brought up the issue at the town board meeting Monday evening. The village of Fredonia and the school district, in addition to the town of Pomfret, allocate money for the school resource officer. Currently, the amount of $5,000 is given between all three and the village and school have agreed to increase their allocation to $10,000. Eckman said the village wanted feedback from the town whether they would try to increase the amount in the budget to take effect Jan. 1.

“They’re looking for … (either) we’re going to work that into the budget or no we don’t feel that’s possible,” Eckman said. “We can’t control so many other things in the budget …”

The current school resource officer is a paid member of the Fredonia Police Department who works in the school part-time. While he is in the school, a part-time officer is brought in to cover his shift. The increase in allocations will be used to pay the part-time officer who would be used to cover shifts while school is in session. The school district and the village would like to keep the current school resource officer due to familiarity.

“That person that is already there, he knows the school, staff and the layout,” Eckman said.

“I’ve talked to the village about it. I had a great conversation with the superintendents of schools about it. They see so much value in it.”

Supervisor Don Steger said he is not willing to make a decision or be in favor of increasing funding under the current contract.

“The town has no authority. … We have no say in any conditions of the service. That is strictly left to the school district and the village,” he said.

Councilman David Penharlow asked if the town board could see a copy of the contract before any further discussion on the topic occurs. The town will review the contract before continuing the discussion at a future meeting.

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