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Eastern York School District considering hiring a resource officer

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LOWER WINDSOR TWP., Pa. -- One school district in York County is considering hiring a school resource officer for the next school year.

Eastern York School District officials have been considering getting a resource officer since 2014.

Lower Windsor Township Police Chief Tim Caldwell said a resource officer could assist the township, the school district and the police department in keeping the district safe.

Caldwell said, "We believe that having a police officer there to work alongside administrators and teachers would be of great benefit and value to the district."

The school district has had five bomb threats at the middle and high schools and an unauthorized man on campus recently. Caldwell said a resource officer would be helpful in situations where a school would have to be evacuated.

"Have an officer on the scene that's already tied into the communication center, that's already tied into responding agencies that can get on the radio and give immediate updated information would be of great advantage to those other individuals who are responding in," Caldwell said.

The cost of having a resource officer depends on how often the officer is at the schools, factoring in events like football games and half days.

"You're talking about an individual's wages, and also their training and benefits and time. So we had looked at a number that was roughly approximating $80,000 but that's not in stone," the police chief said.

But the issues is the township operates on a calendar budget year whereas the school district's is fiscal. They are trying to coordinate those two budgets to see if they have the funding for an officer.

"It's good that we're talking and discussing and we want to move forward with this, but we wanna do it the right way. We want to make sure that everybody is going to be at benefit here. And that we don't need to hurry up and get something done, we just need to get it done correctly," Caldwell said.

He said 11 of the 16 school districts in York County already have resource officers.