Districts welcomes first-ever in-school police officer

The Mechanicsburg Exempted Village School District received its first resource officer this school year.

“I have been in Mechanicsburg in other capacities since 2007. During that time we have never had a school resource officer on site, though we have always worked closely with our village police department,” Superintendent Danielle Prohaska said.

Mechanicsburg Police Officer Nick Black has already begun assisting K-12 students with life skills and making good choices.

“His role is to be a mentor,” district treasurer Scott Maruniak said.

Since he will work during school hours, Black will be able to help the district’s disciplinary staff manage difficult situations and act as a preventative measure. He also will hold lectures that will include discussing acceptable behaviors.

“This is a great partnership with the Board of Education and the Mechanicsburg Police Department,” Maruniak said. “This will hopefully be a positive influence for our kids.”

Standard disciplinary issues, such as tardiness and suspensions, will still be handled by the district’s disciplinary staff, Maruniak said.

“We are thrilled to be able to bring this level of support to the students and staff of Mechanicsburg,” Prohaska said.

The police department supplied a one-year grant to help fund Black, and the board of education approved $15,000 per year to pay the difference.

“In the event that funds are not renewable, we plan to seek local funds via foundations, grants, and other resources to continue this program in the district,” Prohaska said.