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Cheektowaga school districts meet jointly on issue of school resource officers

Cheektowaga’s four school districts – Cheektowaga Central, Cleveland Hill, Maryvale and Sloan – held a joint meeting Monday and talked about increasing the hours of school resource officers from four hours a week to full time.

Joseph R. D’Angelo, superintendent of the Maryvale School District, praised the resource officer that his district has.

“(Our officer) does a lot for us. He assists on welfare checks, supervises sporting events, dances. He helps with reports,” D’Angelo said at the meeting, which was held in the Cheektowaga High School library. “He’s visible. He talks to the kids. We’re very happy with him.”

Dennis M. Kane, superintendent of Cheektowaga Central, said it’s inevitable that certain students will get into trouble. However, the superintendent said, he doesn’t want those times to turn into bad experiences for them.

If a students get in trouble, let them face the consequences, Kane said, and maybe there won’t be repeat occurrences.

“Kids get themselves in trouble in all ways shapes and forms,” Kane said. “When a kid gets himself in trouble, you don’t want that to turn into a bad experience.”

Jon T. MacSwan, superintendent of Cleveland Hill, said that when he was principal at West Seneca West High School, “the expanded hours enabled us to be a little more proactive than reactive.”

The number of hours for which these officers can be paid varies by district.

Also at the special meeting, Linda Hoffman, a member of the New York State School Boards Association board of directors, discussed advocacy and many of associations’s functions, such as trying to change certain laws, “correcting some mistakes the courts made,” and the free legal services that her organization provides to members.

Oct. 24 is the next joint meeting of the school districts – this time at Cleveland Hill. It will begin at 6:30 p.m.