REDDING, Conn. – A proposal to fund a school resource officer in Redding will be presented to the Board of Finance and Board of Selectmen on Monday. Bernard Josefsberg, superintendent of the Redding, Easton and Region 9 schools, discussed the plan with The Daily Voice.
The Daily Voice: Is there funding for a school resource officer for Redding in the proposed school budget?
Josefsberg: This coming Monday, there’s a regular meeting of the Redding Board of Finance, and the Board of Education will join them. At that meeting, the Board of Finance will consider a proposal that the town step forward and address the Redding Police Department’s request for additional staff. If the Board of Finance approves the request, it goes to a Town Meeting next month.
Currently, there is no money in the Board of Education proposal for a school resource officer. There is money for other material upgrades to security that will also be put before the Board of Finance. If the town steps forward and funds the upgrades, which are set at $135,000, I presume that amount will be taken out of the proposed budget.
The Daily Voice: Where would money for the school resource officer come from?
Josefsberg: That’s the second component of the combined proposal that will be discussed Monday.
The Daily Voice: Who made the proposal?
Josefsberg: After our board meeting, there was an outreach to the Board of Finance through the first selectman, which included a letter I wrote to outline the board’s thinking, and making a request that the town provide the funds necessary for a school resource officer and material upgrades and the additional police funding. But the proposal technically comes out of the Board of Finance.
The Daily Voice: Will the school resource officer be stationed at Redding Elementary School and John Read Middle School?
The Daily Voice: Is security inadequate at those schools now?
Josefsberg: A school resource officer will enhance security at the buildings, which isn’t to say security is now inadequate. The request is in response to community concerns about school security arising out of Newtown. It’s a reasonable and understandable response. A school resource officer has worked very well in Easton and is a comfort to residents. Now Redding is contemplating taking that step, as well.
The Joint Board of Finance and Board of Selectmen meeting takes place Monday at 7:30 p.m. in the Redding Community Center.