School board meets officer who will patrol Massena Central halls this year
Friday, August 16, 2019 - 1:25 pm

Massena Central school resource officer Jody Daggett introduces himself to the Board of Education on Thursday night. North Country Now photo by Andy Gardner.

BY ANDY GARDNER
North Country This Week

MASSENA -- The Board of Education on Thursday night, Aug. 15 got to meet the police officer who will patrol the district for the 2019-2020 school year.

Jody Daggett, a resident of Massena, will work as a school resource officer. He will be an armed, sworn law enforcement officer, but he told the board he sees his role more akin to that of educator rather than enforcer. He is a 22-year veteran of the SUNY Potsdam University Police.

"What I've always felt that, whether you like it or not, we are all role models. There's always somebody watching you, watching how you deal with people, watching how you ... handle adversity, whether you give up or keep trying," Daggett told the board. "A big part of my philosophy of how I deal with students and faculty and staff, that you're always being watched and you need to take that into consideration when you're dealing with people."

He said in addition to his work as a college police officer, he also taught accredited courses.

"I was pretty involved with a lot of student programs. I was an advisor for student organizations. The last few years, I was an instructor, so I was teaching an accredited course," he said. "In the course of those 22 years I was a teacher, advisor, counselor, motivator, consoler and a friend to many, many students, some of whom still contact me today."

He told the board he hopes his work will enhance the Massena school community.

"I want to help. I'm a resource for everyone to utilize," Daggett said. "I want to make sure every student feels safe at school. I want to make sure every parent feels safe about their children being at school."

He said so far, the support for his presence has been entirely positive.

"I'm a little humbled by the support I've received. I haven't met anybody yet who isn't completely supportive," Daggett said.

Superintendent Pat Brady said Daggett will mostly be stationed at the high school, but will be "going between all buildings."

"He'll be providing some programming help as well, teaching students how to keep themselves fit, how to keep themselves safe," Brady said.

The superintendent also expressed gratitude to the village and Massena Police Department in working with the district to create the SRO position. Daggett will be a village police employee and answer to their chief. The district will pay his salary with aid money, so there is no impact on the taxpayers.

"I can't say enough about the mayor as well as the chief of police, Adam Love," Brady said.