School Safety Remains Top Priority of The Union City Area School District


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By Chris Lash

At this weeks Union City Borough Council meeting, council was informed that the school district would not be renewing its contract with the Union City Police Department for a school resource officer. The contract runs through the end of the year. School Superintendent Matthew Bennett told Union City Today via email “There are a few myths going around, so it would be great to clear them up for the community. It’s important to note that the our team and the school board place our students, faculty, and staff’s safety as our highest priority. We would never jeopardize any security over funding. We are just going about things a little differently than the past.” The district will see a financial savings because of the change.

“The district has chosen to go another route for now, but this is by no means an indication we will not be working with the Union City Police Department. . We will still work closely with them for our drills, policy, and numerous other items. We thank Officer Barber for all of his years of service to the district and wish him the very best. As I stated we will still be working with him just in a different capacity.” added Bennett.

The district didn’t recieve a specific part of a “safe schools” grant, which had paid for Officer Barber’s salary. The school district will however have an officer. They have hired a retired Pennsylvania State Police Officer, and current school officer with another district. This officer has two decades of police experience, and also is a school safety advisor, and school officer. He will begin on January 2nd, 2019.

Bennett added “Decisions like these are very difficult, but they are the most important ones we make. There were many aspects that were taken into consideration. We feel we have made the best decision for our students, faculty, staff, and district at this time. We look forward to working with all parties to provide the safest and most conducive atmosphere for learning possible for our students.”