Full-time police officer secured for Warwick schools

By on July 27, 2016

Borough, school district to split $80,000 cost

Lititz Borough is partnering with the Warwick School District to provide a school resource officer.

At the July 26 borough council meeting, a memorandum of understanding was approved for the SRO officer to work at Warwick schools.

“Warwick is one of the last school districts in Lancaster County without an SRO,” said Lititz Police Chief Kerry Nye.

He credited Robin Felty, who recently left her position as Warwick School District assistant superintendent to become Manheim Township superintendent, with putting the plan in place. Felty applied for a state grant for the SRO last year, which was not successful. She didn’t give up. As a result, the school district and borough came up with a joint effort plan to secure the officer.

“This was spearheaded by Dr. Robin Felty,” Nye said, adding that the new SRO will be starting at the end of August, before the new school year begins.

The borough will be sharing the $80,000 expense with the school district, $40,000 each. School District Superintendent April Hershey previously explained that the school district will be using funds originally budgeted for a school security officer who is no longer on staff.

The new SRO officer will be Peter Savage, who has completed his training to assist in situations such as child abuse, adolescent stress, and students with special needs. Savage is already on staff with the Lititz Borough Police Department, and will work Monday through Friday during the school year, mainly at the high school and middle school. There will be some coverage at elementary schools, along with special event coverage for prom and sports championships.

In his role as SRO, Savage will provide safety related training, develop school safety plans and procedures, be a police presence in the schools, provide a positive role model, and serve as a catalyst to bring the school and community together. Savage is expected to continue as a borough employee, working hours during the summer at the Lititz police department.

In other business, borough council approved an amendment to the borough’s zoning ordinance pertaining to wireless facilities. The 23-page ordinance amendment was prepared in order to define appropriate installations of wireless in the borough. It is intended to update the current ordinance and stay current with technology.

James Strong, a representative of Verizon Wireless and ATT Wireless, attended the hearing to ask council to table their decision until he had the opportunity to discuss some of the provisions with the committee. He explained to council that he was late to the process and hoped he could provide input.

Although council decided to proceed with approving the amendment, they agreed to have Strong meet with the borough’s attorney and committee to discuss his concerns. He would like to suggest changes that will meet federal and state guidelines relating to wireless technology.

Michael Wolgemuth of Severn Trent reported briefly on water services in the borough. Testing is currently underway on borough water for levels of lead and copper in tap water in several locations. The results are expected to be available later this week.

Council approved several events in the borough, including a National Night Out party on East Lemon Street Aug. 2, the Lititz police Endless Summer pool party at Lititz Springs Pool Aug. 9, and Lititz Youth Soccer’s Lititz Summer Showcase July 30-31.

Council also approved a handicap parking sign for a disabled veteran living on East Main Street.

Laura Knowles is a local freelance reporter who covers the Lititz Borough Council beat for the Record Express. She welcomes reader feedback at lknowles21@gmail.com.

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