Twp. Police Dept. hiring school officer
FLUSHING – The Flushing Township Police Department has approval to create a full-time school officer position for the Flushing Middle School – something that has not been done in the past 5 years.
Flushing Township is staffed with part-time officers, including a couple whom alternate shifts at the Flushing Middle School and the township. Officer Jim Hough of Flushing High School, said Chief Brian Fairchild, has proven placing members of the force into the schools has facilitated a rapport between the department and school district. Hough has been with the district for 10 years.
“[Hough] has a relationship with the teachers, the schools and the students that is remarkable,” said Fairchild. “We find out more about our crimes, and solve more of our crimes, by him being in the school and kids telling him about it than we would 10 detectives running around the township.”
Fairchild also said the model has also been invaluable for deescalating student conflicts. He has been working with a full vacated shift and filling it in with part-timers.
The chief said the new position will not take any money away from the fund balance, as he has projecting and including the possibility of a full-time school officer in his budget. For four years, the money has been moving from the full-time account to the parttime account to fund the officers filling in the empty spot.
“By putting this person in fulltime, I don’t have to wait to see if this officer is scheduled at his other job some other day,” said Fairchild. “The continuity at the school district for having that person in that spot all day, every day, for the entire school year is enormous. Moving people in and out – like I have been doing for the last three years – doesn’t make for a good, solid relationship with the kids.”
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