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Village officials consider request for Fredonia police officer in local schools

FREDONIA – Village officials this week will consider providing Fredonia Schools a school resource officer from the village police department.

But some believe the school district should pay the cost.

The idea will be discussed at a closed-door meeting Thursday with Trustees Phyllis Jones and Susan Mackay, School Superintendent Paul DiFonzo and a school board member.

Jones said school officials should find the funding to pay for an officer on the school campus.

“If they are adamant about this position, then they need to provide for it,” she said.

“Truthfully, I feel if the position is created, the school needs to provide funding,” she added.

Mayor Steven Keefe said that the school has indicated it may be able to provide between $21,000 and $30,000 for a resource officer.

Mackay said the funding should be made available to cover only the hours an officer works over the 180 days of school.

She said school officials told her they contacted the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office and New York State Police but neither agency was interested in providing an officer at the school.

Keefe said the school is only interested in a police officer so that he or she could make an arrest if necessary.

Village board members cut a resource officer position with the school earlier this year when they finalized the village’s 2015-16 budget. The budget was reduced in several areas due to major losses in revenue with the closing of Carriage House, the ConAgra facility. The local closure was finalized in May.

A report on the meeting’s outcome is expected to be made at the next regular meeting of the village board.

In other matters, two bids received on the repairs of the village hall roof were rejected because both were higher than the amount the village budgeted for the project.

The board also approved a motion to hire Michelle Kujawa as a payroll clerk. Her employment begins Sept. 28.