Leechburg may have armed patrols in schools in the fall
By Brian C. Rittmeyer
Published: Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, 12:31 a.m.
A retired police officer could be patrolling the halls of Leechburg Area schools in the 2013-14 year. The officer would carry a gun.
Superintendent James Budzilek said administrators are recommending the hiring as the best and most cost-effective way to increase security at the district's K-12 facilities in Leechburg.
The board is expected to vote on the plan next week.
Leechburg Area would be following in the steps of Butler Area and South Butler school districts.
Days after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. in December, those districts got court permission for retired state troopers already patrolling school grounds to carry firearms.
Hiring a retired officer would cost Leechburg Area about $25,000 a year, Budzilek said.
“This is a deterrent. This is not going to solve all of our issues,” Budzilek told the school board Wednesday. “This would be a very strong deterrent.”
Budzilek said administrators considered a school resource officer with Leechburg police, and looked at the arrangement the Apollo-Ridge School District has for one with Kiski Township police.
Hiring a retired officer was preferred because it would cost less, and the district would have more flexibility with the person's scheduling and duties, Budzilek said.
Although Budzilek referred only to hiring a retired state police officer, he agreed with board member Anthony Shea that military veterans could also be considered.
In addition to security, Director Brian Ravotti said having the person present could cut down on vandalism by making students think twice before engaging in mischief.
Changes are also being considered to improve security at the district's elementary school.
Administrators are recommending building an office in the school's existing lobby. Additional doors would be installed to control access to the school.
The project could cost between $25,000 and $60,000, depending upon if the district seeks bids for a contractor to do the work or has its own employees do it, Budzilek said.
Budzilek said he'd like to see the work done before the start of the 2013-14 year.
In other business
• Changes are being proposed for money left to the district by a former teacher.
According to Business Manager Mark Lukacs, Ann Dobradenka, a second grade teacher, left the district $2,500 in her will in 1962, with the interest to be used for buying supplies for the elementary school library.
But with interest earnings so low, the fund has not been producing enough money to buy anything, Lukacs said.
The proposed change would be to give a portion of the principal, $200 to $250, to the librarian each year to buy items students need until the money is exhausted.
The school board is expected to vote on approving the change next week.
Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4701 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- DA will audit Gilpin evidence
- Icy roads put drivers on the skids
- Cheswick passes spending plan with no increases in fees or taxes
- Woman accused of assault over rap music to attend anger management classes
- Spending will rise, but real estate taxes won’t in Arnold
- Questions on police shakeup go unanswered in Gilpin
- Springdale couple celebrates 75th anniversary
- Oakmont man, 36, reported missing
- Butler County hunter found dead in Cowanshannock
- Allegheny Township man accused of gashing girlfriend’s face with scissors
- Highlands tax scofflaws’ names to be posted online