ROCKY RIVER, Ohio – The safety landscape, especially for schools, seems to be shifting with the emphasis on increased school safety measures all across the country. Rocky River schools has taken the step of adding an additional, uniformed, Safety Resource Officer (SRO) to be placed in the middle school–Matt Blazer, currently an officer with the Rocky River police department.
School superintendent Michael Shoaf was asked why the additional hiring. “The program at the high school has been successful in creating relationships with students, staff and parents and we feel that we’d like to have a similar program at the middle school. An SRO will also improve or add to the security of the building.”
When asked if there have been any incidents that prompted the hiring, Shoaf said, “There were no incidents in this decision. The program at the high school contributed and (so did) the issues across the country. We want to have as much security as we can provide. We want to model a program in the middle school for the other buildings.”
Shoaf said they are even looking at the elementary schools and will continue the discussion on increased safety measures there as well. “Timing will determine the time frame,” he said. He suggested an SRO between two buildings may be considered. He also said he is talking with Police Chief Kelly Stillman about the possibilities too. “The program will change and grow based on students’ needs and Stillman will continue to have input because (the SROs) are still members of the police force.”
Shoaf said there are currently 680 students in the middle school (grades 6-8) and 874 in the high school (grades 9-12).
Blazer is finishing up his SRO training in Columbus before he reports to the middle school later in the month.
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