At last week's Poland Township meeting, trustees moved forward on providing a security officer for Poland Schools. At present, the township has an officer in the schools who will stay in place until the new position can be hired.
"Our intent is to not just have a guy with a gun at the doors," said police Chief Brian Goodin. "We want an officer we can use for education on various topics, such as texting."
Poland schools had previously learned they were not getting a grant for a school resource officer. It was mentioned at the meeting that hardly anyone who applied for the federal funds got it.
"Only three schools in Ohio got the grants," said Trustee Bob Lidle.
Because of the grant denial, the trustees and police chief felt there was a need and took the first steps to secure an officer in the schools.
"Our function is to help the school finance it," Lidle said, "I feel the school board and superintendent should be a part of a partnership in the selection of an officer."
One concern was over what to call the new position. The concern was if it was called school resource officer, then future grants may be in jeopardy. One suggestion was in calling it a school security officer.
Lidle also said the new position wouldn't be for only the high school, but would be for all Poland school buildings.
Poland Superintendent David Janofa said, "We are certainly thankful to the township for stepping up and getting this under way. It's all about keeping our kids safe."
Attending the meeting were a group of Poland High School government students who were all asked their feelings on having an officer in the schools. All of them responded that they feel safer with one.
Janofa said the school board meets in two weeks and something will be set up to prepare for hiring the new officer for the schools.