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Western Wayne getting 2nd school resource officer

By DARRELL SMITH - dsmith@newsexaminer.com

CAMBRIDGE CITY — The Western Wayne School Corp. has two school buildings but only one resource officer. 

That will change when the school opens in August. The school corporation and Cambridge City Town Council have agreed to add a second resource officer. 

The Cambridge City Police Department assigned Officer Bruce Moles as the resource officer. He spent most of his time at Lincoln High and Middle School with visits to Western Wayne Elementary School. The school pays the town for the officer during the school year and the officer can patrol for the town in summer. 

“This will allow us to have one (resource officer) in each building,” said George Philhower, assistant school superintendent. “At the elementary especially, this person would be good for the high alert times when the kids are getting dropped off and then picked up. They will do general supervision, just like Officer Moles does.”

Funding is from a $35,000 state grant with a local match. There is no additional cost to the school because the school has been receiving the grant and the money that will go to the new officer has been used to purchase safety equipment in the past, he said. 

Having a police presence at the elementary will also give younger students a positive image of law enforcement, he said. 

“The biggest thing with Officer Moles is just building relationships with kids,” Philhower said. “It is nice to have a police presence because of all the different things that come up, whether it is adult issues that creep into the school or legal issues we’re forced to deal with. Ultimately, something we hate to think about but do, is the big safety thing if we ever did have a big incident. There has been lots of research to show the best thing to stop that is an armed person.”

The council approved purchasing a used car for up to $15,000 for the new resource officer.

In other business, Clerk-Treasurer Sherry Ervin said few people have signed up for the Reach Alert warning system. The council approved the warning system that will notify residents by cellphone, landline telephone or email if there is an emergency. Residents may call town hall to register for the free service, 765-478-3522.