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NNCS plans talks with Norwood, Norfolk regarding school resource officer

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NORFOLK — Superintendent Elizabeth A. Kirnie told Norwood-Norfolk Central School board members Tuesday that she plans to meet with officials in Norwood and Norfolk to talk about placing a school resource officer in the district.

The suggestion by Councilman Robert J. Harvey during Monday night’s Norfolk Town Council meeting was in response to a late January incident at the school in which a Norfolk man entered the school wearing a shoulder holster with a black Desert Eagle BB pistol beneath his jacket.

Steven R. Wells was charged by state police with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, first-degree harassment and fourth-degree stalking Jan. 25 following an early-morning incident at the school.

Mr. Harvey discussed his suggestion with town board members Monday night, and he phoned Mrs. Kirnie on Tuesday to share those thoughts.

“Norfolk is considering using some of their police force in conjunction with Norwood,” she told school board members, noting she planned to meet with village and town officials over the next week to discuss the possibilities.

One of the questions, she said, is how the position would be funded. In some cases, an officer on duty could be reassigned to the school, covering that cost, Mrs. Kirnie said.

Mr. Harvey had noted that Norfolk has a number of part-time police officers who alternate to provide the town with 48 hours of police service during the week. With only one officer on staff during a shift, he suggested officers could be assigned to work at the school.

But what remains is the question about how they would pay for extra hours that might be involved, according to Mrs. Kirnie, who echoed sentiments expressed by Norfolk town Supervisor Charles A. Pernice on Monday night. He said students come from five towns as well as the village of Norwood and a funding mechanism would need to be developed to share the cost of the post.

Mr. Pernice also noted that they would have to determine whether the school or local government should pay for the position and if Norwood or Norfolk police should staff the position.

Norwood Mayor James H. McFaddin agreed Tuesday that there would need to be more discussion before a decision could be reached.

“I think it’s a good move on their part. We should do everything we can to protect our children,” he said.

The last time Norwood-Norfolk had a school resource officer in the district was 2008 when now-retired state trooper Kenneth J. Plumb split his time between Norwood-Norfolk and Parishville-Hopkinton.

Johnson Newspapers staff writer Tim Fenster contributed to this report.

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