Madison County to help fund school patrol officer initiative

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The Madison County Sheriff’s Office has reached an agreement to help fund school patrol officers across all county districts.

The $122 million budget passed by the Madison County Board of Supervisors earlier this month includes money for a school patrol officer (SPO) in every school building in the county, under the supervision of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.

The county will pay $18,000 per officer, with the school district responsible for the other $19,000 to make the $37,000 annual salary of each officer, county officials said.

Madison County Sheriff Todd Hood has made the offer to every district, authorities said, with Chittenango, DeRuyter, Madison, Brookfield, Morrisville-Eaton and Oneida districts expressing interest, according to the county announcement.

“The objective is to ensure a safe environment for the children of Madison County,” said Sheriff Hood in a release.

“Our officers will be there to uphold the law, build relationships with the students, and provide a safe place,” Hood said.

“The program is in the beginning stages, but we are hoping that every school will take part in this program,” the
Madison County sheriff added.

Officials said some districts have employed security officers in the past, either independently or through their local police departments.

This new program is the first county-wide offer through the Sheriff’s Office, according to the county announcement.

“We live in a time where we must consider the safety of our youth as a top priority,” said Madison County Chairman John M. Becker.

“Being able to aid our school districts with providing this safety is a no-brainer. I am proud that the Board of Supervisors made this funding a priority in this year’s budget,” the county chairman added.

The county is accepting applications for the position. Further information is available at the website www.madisoncounty.ny.gov.

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