SOMERS, N.Y.-- Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino wants school resource officers from the county’s Department of Public Safety to be assigned to Somers and North Salem school districts for the coming school year.
On Tuesday, Astorino proposed legislation to that end under his “Safer Communities” initiative.
The assignment of SROs comes in the wake of the deadly Newtown, Conn. school shootings in December 2012.
The proposal sent to the Board of Legislators this week for approval calls for two county police officers to be assigned as SROs in the Somers Central School District. One officer will be assigned to the Primrose Elementary / Somers High School campus and a second officer will be assigned to the Somers Middle School / Intermediate School campus.
In a separate agreement, another county officer will be assigned as an SRO in the North Salem Central School District, serving the North Salem Middle / High School campus and Pequenakonck Elementary School.
“School Resource Officers work closely with school administrators to provide a safe and secure environment for students and staff," county Public Safety Commissioner George N. Longworth said in a statement.
"They maintain a visible presence at school buildings and grounds and provide a broad range of services to educators and students at the schools where they are assigned."
Schools will pay the salary and benefits of the officers during the school year. When school is out, the officers will be reassigned to other country patrols.
“Having an actual police officer in the schools, working directly with teachers and administrators and interacting with the students makes a huge difference and reassures parents that their kids are safe when they drop them off at school," Deborah D’Agostino, president of the North Salem Central School District Board of Trustees said in a statement. "We’re grateful for this partnership with the county and can’t wait for the start of a brand new school year.”