Canton Central 2018-19 budget includes funding for armed in-school police officer
Monday, April 9, 2018 - 11:47 am

CANTON -- Canton Central School has included funding for an armed in-school police officer in its 2018-19 budget.

Canton had a full-time officer on campus, which they called a “school resource officer,” from 2000-2003, which Superintendent William Gregory said was in place when he worked as a high school principal in 2002.

Other schools around St. Lawrence County have also discussed adding an officer to their district.

“From my perspective, our SRO was, in short, an invaluable asset to administration, faculty and staff, and most importantly, our student body,” Gregory said. “The rapport he developed with students was amazing, and served to prevent small issues from becoming larger ones.”

In the past at Canton Central, the officer was a regular presenter in classes ranging from government to family and consumer sciences, and was also involved in the life of the school as an assistant soccer coach.

“I cannot recall a single concern regarding the SRO being brought to my attention by anyone,” he said.

Potsdam Central, the first school to publicly state they were interested in having an officer in school does not plan to include funding for it in their budget this year.

“Given our previous positive experience with a School Resource Officer and the overriding concern for safety in today's uncertain, volatile, and violent world, I believe the addition of the SRO to our staff to be vital,” Gregory said.

Gregory said the budget proposal also includes the addition of a mental health counselor to help address the social-emotional needs of his students.

“I view both of these positions to be wise, proactive investments that are essential to helping ensure the health, welfare, and safety of our students and staff,” he said.