PORT BYRON, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Port Byron Central School District is still scrambling to put a police officer in their schools this upcoming year. They will not reach that goal by Sept. 1st. However, the district and the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office are doing everything they can to fill that position by this year.
The district did have a retried state trooper as their school resource officer for four years, but after the civil service commission in Cayuga County had questions about how they were getting paid, the village decided not to renew that contract. Now, Port Byron schools are without full police protection this coming fall.
“Kids love having an officer here, they feel safer. Us having a police car in the parking lot just when you come to our building it changes the layer of security just seeing that police car there,” said Neil O’Brien, Superintendent of Port Byron Schools.
O’Brien reached out to the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office a couple of months ago. Since then, the police union has been in negotiations with the county legislature.
“All of the parties involved certainly the legislature, the patrol union and myself, we all want to get somebody into the schools just as quickly as possible,” said Sheriff Brian Schenck with the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office.
They’re hoping that person will serve as a special patrol officer. They’d be an employee of the sheriff’s office, armed and able to take police action while on school property. They’re looking at any retired police officer in New York State.
“We want to make sure it’s a qualified person that’s going to be able to do the job and do it effectively. so it’s going to take some time,” said Sheriff Schenck.
Sheriff Schenck estimates they may reach a decision by January. The money to pay for the special patrol officer will be coming out of the school district’s budget.
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