Holley administrators welcome security officers

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 April 2013 at 12:00 am

District says officers will cost $140,000 for full school year

HOLLEY – School leaders say the first two weeks with security officers in the elementary and junior-senior high schools has been a success, with officers making positive connections with students and staff.

“They’ve transitioned nicely into the building,” said Karri Schiavone, elementary school principal. “They’re in the hallways, the foyer, the bus loop. They’re everywhere.”

The school district hired COP Security Inc. to provide a security presence at both buildings during the school day and also in the evening for extracurricular activities. COP Security is paid $27 per hour for each officer on duty. Holley has an officer working in each school.

The service would cost $140,000 for a full school year with the evening hours included. If officers only work during the regular school day, the cost would be $90,000 for the district.

Dale Barton, a retired Ogden police officer who leads COP Security, told the Board of Education he is pleased with the early success of the program in Holley.

“The officers have been warmly received,” he told the board on March 18. “You guys really have a great school district. We’re pleased to be a part of it.”

The officers are unarmed. One parent told the board he thinks they should have guns. Board President John Heise said that issue will be evaluated in the coming months.

For now, Barton said officers are developing a network with students, which should result in tips, possibly preventing some problems and major incidents in the future.

The officers also will meet regularly with school administrators to review safety protocols.

Schiavone and Susan Cory, the junior-senior high school principal, told the board the security officers are appreciated by staff.

“I love having them here,” Schiavone said. “It’s another set of eyes and ears that isn’t tied down to a classroom.”

The security officers are all retired police officers. They will promote a “positive climate” in the schools, and will help address anti-bullying, prom safety, bicycle safety and other issues, said Robert D’Angelo, district superintendent.