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East Greenbush Central School District and the Town of East Greenbush have agreed to terms on adding a school resource officer at Howard L. Goff Middle School. The agreement, which was approved by the Board of Education at last week’s public meeting, will provide an armed retired police officer from the East Greenbush Police Department at Goff Middle School during school hours.

“The arrangement we have made through our partnership with the East Greenbush Town Board to restore the School Resource Officer Program to Goff Middle School will further enhance the district safety program for students and staff,” said Superintendent Jeff Simons. “School resource officers contribute to a positive, healthy and safe learning climate for our children. We look forward to working with the Town of East Greenbush and Police Chief Chris Lavin to place qualified school resource officers in the school this year.”

The new school resource officer, who will have all the duties and responsibilities of a police officer, will not only enhance the security of the building, but will also work with students and staff to continue creating a safe school climate.

“I look forward to having the school resource officer become ingrained within our building so that students will see them as a friendly face that they could go to if they need assistance or guidance with a situation,” said Goff Principal Wayne Grignon. “The SRO will also help connect us to a number of agencies within the community to assist students and their families.”

Columbia High School has had a School Resource Officer from the East Greenbush Police Department in a similar role for years.

Like Officer Jay Martyn at Columbia, the new School Resource Officer at Goff will be available to other schools throughout the district.

The new position was included in the school district’s 2018-19 budget that was approved by voters in May. During this school year, the school district negotiated with the town on a contract for the position which could include two retired officers splitting the assignment so as not to interfere with their retirement benefits.

East Greenbush Central School District, the Town of East Greenbush and Chief Lavin are working with Rensselaer County Civil Service to create the new position and then begin a search process.

“This addition, supported by the East Greenbush community, the Board of Education and our superintendent, Mr. Simons, continues to demonstrate the district’s commitment to school safety for its faculty, staff, and most importantly, our students,” said Mr. Grignon.