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May 7, 2013

Funds sought to keep school cop

EBENSBURG — Concerned Central Cambria School District parents are hoping their community neighbors will help them raise enough money to keep an off-duty police officer in their high school’s hallways for the rest of the school year.

Working with the district – and as a response to threats written on a school bathroom wall last month – residents calling themselves Concerned Parents of Central Cambria are sending a letter to the district community asking people to pitch in $2 per student to make it happen.

“The school is setting up an account and any money sent will be used for a school resource officer,” Superintendent Vincent DiLeo said, adding that the district has heard concerns from a number of local parents.

Central Cambria doesn’t have the funds – approximately $2,200 – to pay the officer, a Cambria Township policeman, to remain on campus for the rest of the school year, he added.

“We’re hoping for a federal grant that would allow us to keep an officer at the school next year, but that’s down the road,” DiLeo said. “Some parents are concerned. And this is a way they can address it this year.”

Community members can drop off donations at the middle and high school offices, parents wrote in the letter Tuesday.

Some district parents have remained concerned since threats were found scribbled on a boys restroom wall April 23. The threats warned of a shooting the day before the school prom, district officials warned at the time.

That date, and prom, both passed without incident. Central Cambria officials heightened security at the school during the week leading up to the prom, bringing in uniformed police officers and the county sheriff’s K-9 unit.

“Whether we find whoever is responsible for this threat or not, the one thing we can take from this is that it’s enabled us to be better prepared for anything that could happen,” DiLeo said.

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