Dunkirk closes in on SRO agreement

OBSERVER Photo by Andrew David Kuczkowski Dunkirk Board of Education President David Damico, far left, listens to a speaker as Dunkirk Superintendent Dr. James Tracy responds.

School Board President David Damico said with confidence that the Dunkirk School District will have a school resource officer as the city council and the board of education is closing in on an agreement. However, the few struggles remaining are budgetary and getting the financial alignment settled between the city and the district.

“I think … between the mayor, the council representative, the chief of police, the (Police Benevolent Association), the cooperation is there,” Damico said. “The belief between everybody in the room is that we need that position. The challenge becomes — because of the way the budgets fall — we as the district typically go first.”

School districts follow an academic calendar, from July to June, and the towns, cities, villages fund based on a calendar year — January to December.

The funding is viewed as a necessity, Damico said, as student’s safety has become even more vital. Currently, there is no timeline as to when there may be an agreement.

“I don’t at this point,” he said. “Hopefully, there is some talk at the state level for some funding for SROs, there’s also been some discussion at the federal level. Of course, we are keeping our eyes and our ears open on that. I am confident that we will be able to come up with a solution.”

The Dunkirk Board of Education plans to meet April 12 at 6:30 p.m. There, an update will likely be announced as to the SRO position in the district.

“This is not a want, this is a need,” Damico added. “As we come into budget now, we have to decipher between that. This, obviously, is something that we needed and we have to figure out a way for that to happen.”

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