County sheriff providing Hermon-DeKalb school with school resource officer
BY JEFF CHUDZINSKI
North Country This Week
CANTON — Hermon-Dekalb Central School will have a school resource officer provided by the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office throughout the academic year.
The move was approved unanimously by the St. Lawrence County Legislature during an Operations Board meeting held on Monday, Sept. 19.According to Sheriff Brooks Bigwarfe, the position is a full-time spot for one year with an option for two additional years.
The contract term is Sept. 6 through June 30, 2023. If exercised, the option would extend the contract through June 30, 2025.
Many legislators applauded the decision to place an SRO in Hermon-Dekalb, with Legislator Larry Denesha noting that the proactive move is the best choice in his opinion.
“We may be remote, but we’re not immune. I would much rather be in a situation where we are proactive and do what’s right, rather than afterwards finding ourselves saying we wish we had done something,” he said.
Though only one other school currently employs an SRO through the Sheriff’s Office, others have reached out with serious inquiries, Bigwarfe told the board.
According to Bigwarfe, the officer who is expected to work in Hermon-Dekalb has been selected and has begun training with the current SRO based at Edwards-Knox Central School.
The Hermon-Dekalb School District will be responsible for paying the SRO’s salary and benefits, with payments to the county required on Jan. 30 and June 30, officials say.
If overtime is incurred by the officer on behalf of the district, the district will also be responsible for those expenses as well, officials said.