The Hillsboro City Schools are planning to have an armed “resource officer” for the 2016-17 school year, superintendent Jim Smith said at Wednesday’s board of education meeting.
Smith said that while details still have to be worked out with the city of Hillsboro, the plan is to have the officer on-site during school hours and for other special duties.
The officer’s office, Smith said, will be on the second floor of the high school overlooking the front of the building. He said the officer would spend most of his time at the high school/middle school, but would occasionally work at the elementary school.
“For a high school our size, it would be unusual if we didn’t have one,” Smith said in explaining the new position.
During his superintendent’s report, Smith told the school board, “I think it will be a fine compliment to the principal and assistant principal next year. I think this is a nice step for us.”
After the meeting, Smith said the officer would be armed like a regular Hillsboro police officer. He said that while he’s not sure yet, the officer may be longtime Hillsboro policeman Tim Bell.
Smith said the officer will help the school with investigations, at special events like football games and graduation, with traffic control and parking lots, and more. He said the officer would be on duty during the entire school day.
“It will be good to have an officer on-site when unusual things happen,” Smith said.
Smith said more details will be presented to the school board at its July meeting.
That meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 20 and will be moved from the normal location at the board of education offices to the high school, where it will begin with a tour of the school district’s new concession/restroom facility near the track and the new weight room/wrestling facility behind the middle school.
Both buildings are under construction and Smith said they are scheduled to be under roof by the next board meeting.
In other news from his superintendent’s report, Smith noted:
• A new victory bell has been installed on the north end of the soccer/track facility. The bell was brought to Hillsboro from the state of Washington by Hillsboro teachers Joe and Laura Jacky and is now encased in stone.
• The district is planning to have signage erected at the former school site off West Main Street so visitors can more easily find the school’s administrative offices. They are located at the former school site separately from the school locations on the south side of town. Smith said one sign will be placed along West Main Street and another on the fence near the football field.
• Paving of the bus access road behind the elementary school will begin July 9 and the road will be closed for most of the month.
• There have been preliminary discussions with the Miller Mason Paving Co., which is paving the access road, about also paving the connector road that runs south from the back of the elementary school to the middle school/high school. Nothing definite has been decided.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.