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Greensburg Salem to hire resource officer for security

July 27, 2018 GMT

Greensburg Salem School District is preparing to hire a school resource officer to provide security for the district.

School board members are still working out details about the position, but unanimously voted Tuesday to begin the search for qualified candidates.

“We want to be ahead of the game,” said school board President Ron Mellinger.

The school board allocated $60,000 in the district’s 2018-19 budget to hire a resource officer, though Mellinger said he hopes the position will be covered at least in part by grants.

Depending on grant funding, the district may be able to hire more than one officer, Mellinger said.

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Board members have not decided how a single officer would divide his or her time between the district’s five schools.

The search will begin in earnest soon, Mellinger said. It is probably too late to have a resource officer in place by the time classes start Aug. 29, but he hopes to have one early in the school year.

The district has also allocated $60,000 to upgrade its security equipment, like locks and cameras, and is considering replacing its entrances with a more secure “mousetrap” design, which would cost about $2.5 million.

Greensburg Salem has had two security scares this year.

Last week, 18-year-old Austin R. Tressler, of Greensburg, was arrested for threatening “shoot up” Greensburg Salem Middle School, police said. He was released on bail, but jailed Wednesday after being charged in a separate incident in which he allegedly threatened to attack someone with a sledgehammer.

On February the middle school went into lockdown when staff discovered a break-in. Security footage showed Ian Sagucio broke an electronic keypad and tore off a door handle, then wandered the halls for about 20 minutes early in the morning before anyone had arrived for the day. Saguicio, 35, died of an apparent heart condition later that day as Greensburg police officers tried to arrest him.