Monessen to increase security at elementary center
Beginning next week, the Monessen Elementary Center will have an armed police officer guarding its site every day during school hours.
At Tuesday's work session, the school board said it plans to approve the hiring of two part-time officers at its Jan. 15 regular meeting. Superintendant Linda Marcolini said she expects the officers to start the very next day.
It was a case of better-late-than-never for Marcolini and the board.
“Our goal was to have these (officers) in place by Jan. 3, but we ran into the Christmas break,” Marcolini said.
Marcolini said she interviewed four applicants – all currently employed as part-time law enforcement officers in the Mid-Mon Valley.
“Our main focus is for the security of the staff and students,” Marcolini said. “One of the requirements is for the officers to be personable and able to interact with students and visitors.”
The two officers will alternate between working three and two days per week. The district will attempt to keep the other two applicants on-call in case of illness or an extracurricular function where they would be needed “depending on their schedule,” she said.
“When we say part-time, we don't want people to think there won't be someone here all the time,” Marcolini said. “Budget-wise, this was the most cost-effective way to do this and not have to deal with benefits.”
The officers will have walkie-talkies and keep in touch with Principal Bethanne Natali while performing “sweeps” of the perimeter and checking that classroom doors remain locked. They will also answer to security director John Bachinski, who is stationed at the high school.
Marcolini said the focus at the elementary center is at the main entrance. The staff on Jan. 2 underwent training on how to operate the entranceway metal detectors, conduct bag searches and use hand-held metal-detecting wands.
Marcolini said the district might consider hire a full-time officer next year, budget permitting.
Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-684-2635.
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.
- Hearing set on dangerous intersection in Rostraver
- Familiar format focuses on journey to Yesteryear visit
- Homeless man held for robbing Rostraver stores
- Working toward retirement: Be proactive
- 3 hurt in Carroll crash
- North Belle Vernon gets tough on storm water