EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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New Hampshire

September 22, 2013

Timberlane reassigns resource officer

(Continued)

Some School Board members, including Roger Barczak and Richard Blair, declined to comment Friday.

“It’s being handled by Dr. Metzler and the police chief,” Blair said. “I’m letting them deal with it.”

But now the district doesn’t have a school resource officer and a replacement isn’t expected to be found any time soon, Savage said.

The district received a federal grant to hire a part-time middle school resource officer three years ago, but that position still hasn’t been filled, he said.

Metzler said until a replacement for Marsilia is found, he is confident Plaistow police can respond to any problems at the school.

No one in the department wants the position or could immediately step into the job, Savage said, so it probably won’t be filled until next year, he said.

“Everyone I talked to is asking, ‘When are you going to get someone new?”’ he said. “You have to pick a certain type of person.”

That person must have a lot of patience and enjoy working with children, Savage said. Many police officers just don’t want to deal with juveniles on a daily basis, he said.

Salem School Superintendent Michael Delahanty agrees.

“Not everyone is cut out to work in schools,” he said. “There are very good police officers, but they are not really good with the individual needs of students 8 , 9 and 17 years old

A valued position

Savage and Metzler said there is no question Marsilia will be replaced since the position would be too valuable to lose. It’s just a matter of when, they said.

School resource officers carry a handgun and patrol school grounds and hallways and also help deter crime, including bullying and other violence.

They respond to students’ needs, providing guidance, bonding with them and helping with difficult personal situations.

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