Newark City Council voted unanimously Thursday to authorize Mayor Al Nagy to sign an agreement with the school district to restore a part-time police presence at Newark Junior High School and MacGregor Continuation School.
Newark Unified has gone without a school resource officer at its junior high and alternative education center since 2010.
City Clerk Sheila Harrington said all four council members at Thursday's meeting endorsed the move, with Vice Mayor Ana Apodaca being absent due to a death in her family.
The agreement calls for the officer to serve on the two campuses about four hours per day, four days per week – costing the Newark Unified School District approximately $50,000 per school year.
The officer would also be available to assist in providing resources to the district's elementary schools.
Last month’s tragic school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut has put a focus on school safety, and heightened parents concerns about the safety of their children, as expressed in prior articles on Patch.
But according to Superintendent of Schools Dave Marken, Newark Junior High has seen fewer violent incidents in recent years.
He has emphasized that the school liaison officer's primary role would be to help prevent violent episodes in the future.
"We still maintain that our schools are the safest place for our kids to be," Marken has said.
Marken also said that reinstating a police officer at Newark Junior High and MacGregor has been a goal of the district's for the past year.
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