Following last week's unanimous approval to reinstate a resource officer for the 2013-14 school year, Cinnaminson Director of Public Safety Michael King made a final presentation to the Board of Education at its meeting Tuesday night at the middle school.
"You will continue to get all the (police) programs you get now. This is a supplement," King told the board. "We want the officer to be highly visible and highly involved, including being involved in teaching."
Officer Michael Czarzasty, a 12-year veteran of the force
who was recognized last year for his community policing efforts, will assume
the role when the school year begins. He will have a presence at each of the
district’s four schools for security reasons.
He will also teach classes and continue his involvement in the school district, including the D.A.R.E program, which he implemented.
“There is no doubt how much he cares about the community,” King said following his presentation. “ … He’s involved in the youth academies, D.A.R.E., first grade reading. There’s never been any question about his commitment.”
The Cinnaminson Police Department had a presence in the
school district in the form of a Resource Officer until the department was
forced to make cuts in early 2010.
The township funded the School Resource Officer, up until the time of the layoffs. The school district recently decided to take on the cost of keeping an officer in the school.
The district paid the cost of the officer’s salary, which allows the department to keep the same number of officers on the streets while allowing Czarzasty the flexibility to serve the school district, according to King.
“A community relationship with the youth is important, and school safety has been an obvious focus across the nation,” King said.
However, the school district has been building this for over half a decade now, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Salvatore J. Illuzzi said.
“We began these measures six or seven years ago,” said Illuzzi, who added safety measures have included new locks on classroom doors and additional cameras at all schools.
“The board always wanted (the resource officer) back,” Illuzzi said. “It helps ensure the safety of students and staff. We want to make our schools as safe as possible.”