On Feb. 28, 2023 the Borough Council held a meeting to discuss new resolutions and business this month. Among the passed resolutions was Resolution R: 92-23, which will add an additional police officer to the Glassboro School District.
Currently, there is an officer for each of the four Glassboro Schools, but this fifth officer will serve as another layer of security who will travel throughout the day between the four schools. There were five officers, one in each school, before the Glassboro Intermediate School was sold to Rowan.
“When we had five [schools], we had five SROs [School Resource Officers]. That was kind of the breakdown with that. So the reason why it was suggested that we go back to five, instead of just maintaining the four for the schools — it’s because of the staffing levels for the SROs. They are primarily retired officers that have come from other law enforcement jobs,” said Glassboro Police Chief John Polillo.
The resolution was passed by the council and will be implemented in the four Glassboro Public Schools which include Glassboro High School, Thomas E. Bowe Middle School, J. Harvey Rodgers School and Dorothy L. Bullock Elementary.
The resolution will be, “authorizing execution of shared services agreement between the Borough of Glassboro and the Glassboro Board of Education to provide five (5) special law enforcement officers (SLEOs) Class III for the Glassboro School District,” according to the meeting agenda.
The school officers currently provide building security, help break up any conflicts that occur on campus and are a law enforcement presence inside of the schools. The candidate for this position is still being evaluated.
“It’s pretty much an overlap of what they would already be doing in the schools, but just this person would be bouncing around to four different schools,” said Polillo.
Exposure to law enforcement at a young age could have a positive effect of students according to the Glassboro Superintendent.
“It allows younger students to see the officers in a different light and realize that police officers can be helpful. They’re good people. And hopefully, that builds that relationship as they get older. They look at police officers as a resource and support,” said Superintendent of Glassboro Schools, Mark Silverstein, Ph.D.
Many of the officers are retired police officers and they’re funded by both the school district and the Borough.
“I feel like it’s a positive benefit for the school district, for the town. It’s an extra layer of security and I really don’t feel like you can put a price tag on the safety of a person, you know throughout the day while they’re at work, while they’re at school or in any capacity,” Polillo said.
The fifth officer is being added as an extra layer of security, but the district emphasized that this addition is not a result of an unsafe school environment.
“This in no way implies the district is unsafe. What this is, is sometimes officers may be out on training for a day, maybe ill for a day. This provides constant security in our buildings,” said Silverstein.
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