D-F police department looks to have school resource officer in town schools
CHARLESTON — Dover-Foxcroft town officials and Police Chief Ryan Reardon have been talking with administrators from RSU 68 and Foxcroft Academy about the possibility of a school resource officer working at the SeDoMoCha School and the secondary school. During an Oct. 2 school board meeting at the Charleston Community Center a proposal for the position, to be funded between the two school units and municipality for the 2019-20 academic year, was presented by Reardon.
“Before the school year I was approached by (Foxcroft Academy Head of School Arnold Shorey, RSU 68 Superintendent Stacy Shorey, and SeDoMoCha School Principal Adam Gudroe) about the possibility of a school resource officer,” Reardon said. Since then a proposal was developed as Reardon presented a copy of the document to school board members. He said a department officer is spending about eight to 10 hours a week visiting the schools this year.
“I’m a cop, I do the worst-case scenario,” Reardon said about the school resource officer expenses. “I picture it being thousands of dollars less than that.”
According to the proposal, the full wages and benefits would total just over $77,700. RSU 68 and Foxcroft Academy would share 71.1 percent of the wages and benefits and the town would cover the remaining near 29 percent. The school units would split $55,168, and the respective payments would be divided into a pair of $13,792 installments for each due before the start of classes in the fall and then in May before the end of the school year.
The school resource officer would go between the schools over 37 weeks, working for the police department during the summer and school vacations, with SeDoMoCha and Foxcroft Academy having 2.5 days of coverage each week via a varying schedule. Equipment, office supplies, and the vehicle would be covered by the town.
“There are more schools in the state of Maine that have school resource officers than don’t have them,” Reardon said. He said the officer can put a face on law enforcement for students, while also being a possible resource and mentor in the building.
“It is law enforcement-lite,” Reardon said, as the the school resource officer will be in the building to help students rather than solely looking to enforce the law. The chief said the officer would likely be dressed in attire such as a golf shirt and khaki pants.
“It won’t be like this, they will look very civilian-like,” Reardon, in uniform, said. “It has to be the right person, with the right attitude for the job.”
“I would have you think about it and bring it back next month,” Shorey said to the school board.
In other business, members of the Mosaic Lodge #52 A.F. & A.M. of Dover-Foxcroft presented a donation.
“On behalf of the Dover-Foxcroft Masons, here is $1,500 from the Masonic Charitable Foundation for the SeDoMoCha Early Readers Program,” Mason Tom Boone, who was joined by Scott Catell and Jeff Small, said.
Kindergarten teacher Deborah Catell said the Masonic donation will be used to purchase non-fiction books to be read by grade K-1 students.
“They will be used well and often,” literacy teacher Carolyn Clark said. She said there about 80 kindergarteners at SeDoMoCha Elementary and a similar number of pupils in first grade.
“If you include grade 1 that is 150 kids who will be perusing these books yearly,” Clark said, as the students go through a new book every few days.
“Thank you very much, that is very exciting,” Shorey said to the three masons.
“Thank you again for your wonderful donation to our school, we really appreciate it,” Gudroe said.
Clark told the school board about another contribution being made to the district as the Lois Lenski Covey Foundation has donated $500 to fund new books for a summer reading program.
Clark and Reading Recovery teacher Laurie Sheppard bring titles directly to the participating students’ homes when school is not in session during the summer months to keep the pupils reading, and the $500 will go toward the purchase of new books for the program.
Other students can read at home through a portable library program Clark described as “take a book, leave a book.” The literacy teacher built a wooden box, which was decorated by middle school art students, which has spent time in Monson and Charleston, is now at the Sebec Country Store, and will be located in Dover-Foxcroft for several weeks this fall.
“That’s been an exciting thing we have been doing,” Clark said.
“The scoreboards are up and running so they are working well,” Gudroe said in his report. He said the clocks behind SeDoMoCha are wireless “and all the fans are definitely appreciative of the scoreboards working so they can follow those games as well.”
The principal said so far the girls A soccer and football teams are each undefeated and the boys A soccer squad has only two losses. “Fifty percent of our population is participating in an athletic event,” he said.
With other extracurricular offerings factored in, over 70 percent of the student population is taking part.
“We are going to be doing a color run for (fourth-grader Brayson Dunton), he’s battling cancer and he’s a courageous young man,” Shorey said.
The “3K SeDo. Color Run” is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11 at the school with a 9 a.m. registration. “If they could register ahead of time we would know how many shirts to order,” Shorey said, as registration can be done at the school or the Piscataquis Regional YMCA by Oct. 24 to receive a shirt. She said participants will also receive a color pack and sunglasses for the benefit event. More information is available at www.sedomocha.org.