SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — School security is being beefed up at Shawnee schools.
Tuesday night, the school board approved an agreement with Shawnee Township trustees to provide two school resource officers to the district.
“This is our commitment to the community. We felt the need for us to take a bit of a different approach than what we have in the past,” said James Kanable, superintendent of Shawnee schools.
The agreement still needs to be voted on by the Shawnee Township Trustees.
“The officers will be township officers. The township will then bill us for the time in which they spend at the school doing resource officer responsibilities. It was modeled after the Apollo agreement so our township already has a previous agreement in place,” said Kanable.
Kanable doesn’t see the presence of the officers as being an enforcement weapon.
“The whole premise behind our approach with our resource officers is that they come in and they establish relationships with our kids, relationships of trust. Having an avenue for those kids that know that there may be something up, to channel that information to the proper people so that those conversations with those potential situations may occur well before they ever happen and de-escalate them, prevent them, whatever the need may be, but the officers are not here as a primary enforcement arm of the police force. They’re here as an assistance to us, as a district, to give the well-being of our children that we serve every day, the safety and security they need to come here and get a good education,” said Kanable.
In other business, the school board approved the extension of Kanable’s contract through 2022 with no salary increase.
“Basically this is us saying, ‘Jim, we like the job you’re doing, and we want to keep you around for a little bit longer, and we want you to continue,’” said Mike Carpenter, Shawnee school board president.
“I think it’s a great vote of confidence by this board of what I’ve done to this point. I’m excited about it. My time here has been very fruitful, bumpy at times, but all in all, I think that we’ve worked together to manage a wonderful district, hopefully getting better every day,” said Kanable.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.