The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

January 14, 2014

Windber OKs officer for district

David Hurst

WINDBER — Windber’s police force has been back on the borough’s streets for barely two weeks.

Soon one of its officers will be in Windber Area school hallways, too.

Borough Council on Tuesday tentatively approved a deal with the school district that will keep a school resource officer on the campus daily and at special events in the evenings.

Much like an expiring deal with Paint Township, the agreement will put the resource officer on campus for up to 39 hours a week.

Costs associated with the task will be covered by the school district, Councilman George Ledney said.

“This is something we all wanted to get done,” Ledney said, referencing recent high-profile school shootings around the country.

The school district, which also must approve the deal, has had a school resource officer in its halls since January 2013, a move partly prompted by the 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Windber district Superintendent Rick Huffman said at the time that the officer would provide security, work with administrators to see how school safety measures could be modified and assist with student programs like prom, drug prevention and driver education.

Resource Officer Amanda Tessari is expected to continue in the role.

Mayor Scott Penrod said efforts continue to finish transitioning the remaining borough police equipment, including old cruisers, back from Paint Township.

In-car laptops originally acquired by Paint Borough are likely to be reissued to Windber in the coming weeks, he said.

Items such as radios and weapons already have been collected, Penrod said.