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Grand Island Town Board: School Board's court on school resource officer

Sat, Dec 9th 2017 07:00 am
The Grand Island Town Board issued a proclamation Monday to support the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence Campaign, which wraps up Dec. 10. Members of the Grand Island Zonta Club were on hand to accept the proclamation. Zonta has partnered with the Family Justice Center in an effort to break the cycle of domestic violence on the Island, which has the highest number of reported cases of domestic violence in all of Erie County, according to the proclamation. Zonta's Status of Women & Advocacy committee organized the 16 Days of Activism. Pictured at the meeting are, from left: council members Ray Billica and Bev Kinney; Zonta board member Marla Crawford, the chairwoman of the Status of Women & Advocacy committee; Zonta President Karen Keefe; Town Supervisor Nathan McMurray; Zonta board member Denise Dunbar, Zonta member Kathi Shonitsky and Zonta Vice President JoAnn Hall. (Photo by Larry Austin)
The Grand Island Town Board issued a proclamation Monday to support the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence Campaign, which wraps up Dec. 10. Members of the Grand Island Zonta Club were on hand to accept the proclamation. Zonta has partnered with the Family Justice Center in an effort to break the cycle of domestic violence on the Island, which has the highest number of reported cases of domestic violence in all of Erie County, according to the proclamation. Zonta's Status of Women & Advocacy committee organized the 16 Days of Activism. Pictured at the meeting are, from left: council members Ray Billica and Bev Kinney; Zonta board member Marla Crawford, the chairwoman of the Status of Women & Advocacy committee; Zonta President Karen Keefe; Town Supervisor Nathan McMurray; Zonta board member Denise Dunbar, Zonta member Kathi Shonitsky and Zonta Vice President JoAnn Hall. (Photo by Larry Austin)
By Larry Austin
Island Dispatch Editor
A memorandum of understanding between the Grand Island Central School District and Grand Island Town Board is on the table for a school resource officer agreement.
After a sit-down negotiation between the Town Board, the town police officer-in-charge, and school district, Town Supervisor Nathan McMurray has written an MOU that details a plan for two part-time Grand Island Police school resource officers instead of one full-time SRO.
Because the town has an all part-time force, Town Board members had resisted a full-time police position, while Superintendent of Schools Brian Graham preferred a full-time officer, money for which would come from a state grant. He previously said a full-time school resource officer will serve the students "as a school resource officer program is designed in its best practice."
"Officer-in-charge likes it. Superintendent likes it," McMurray said during a work session Monday, but he added that he didn't know how the school board will decide. The BOE meets Monday.
"Hopefully, it helps us move forward because it seems everyone is in favor," McMurray said.
If the school board approves, McMurray will have Town Attorney Peter Godfrey draft the MOU into a contract.
Councilman Mike Madigan said in a statement this week that "The use of the part-time police model is the most sustainable in terms of cost. The part-time officers do not require a (incremental) dedicated vehicle, the pay rate remains comparable to the current GI Police salary (not 25 percent higher) and the full-time officer model could not, in the summer when school is out, be absorbed and deployed within the budgeted Grand Island Police coverage hours (this person would not be a GI Police officer)."
McMurray said though a part-time officer system is the way to go forward, he did not support a system of "rotating whoever is available into the schools" from the police department.

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