SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The community let their voices be heard Wednesday night as the Schenectady City School Board passed a resolution allowing for community engagement officers in schools. The school board passed the measure to allow the officers in schools by a vote of 4 to 3.
The school board said it has participated in a school resource officer pilot program in the past, and it has worked out well. Some told the board they do not want officers at the school because it will possibly traumatize students.
“Knowing what we know about the state of policing and the justice system in America right now, the friction that exists between the police and our community, could you look every student in the eye and promise them without a doubt these officers would not make them feel unsafe or threatened,” Shay Fitzgerald, resident and Schenectady High School alum, said.
“As someone with 31 years of experience and interactions within the school district and within the community, I believe with the addition of this program we all have a wonderful opportunity to not only maintain the great relationships we already have but an opportunity to build new relationships on a safe and neutral ground,” Schenectady Officer Nicholas Ottati said.
The program would put officers at the district’s middle schools and add another officer to the high school.