Lake Region considers hiring police officer

copyright the Chronicle July 26, 2017

by Elizabeth Trail

 

A proposal to bring a deputy from the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department into the school as a resource officer met with questions at the Lake Region Union High School’s board meeting on July 20.

The board invites the public to attend its next meeting in August in hopes of getting feedback from parents.

North Country Union High School has had a resource officer for several years, first a Newport City police officer, and then a sheriff’s deputy.

The move was controversial at first, Lake Region Principal Andre Messier said. But when it looked as though North Country might lose its resource officer Mr. Messier said, the community actively came out in support of the program.

“We’ve touched base with a number of schools,” Lake Region vice-principal Sharon Gonyaw said. “They all started out with the same reservations.”

Deputy Kyle Ingalls, the current resource officer at North Country, came to the Lake Region meeting to talk about how the program works.

A 2006 graduate of Lake Region, Deputy Ingalls said he provides onsite law enforcement services along with counseling and mentoring students as needed.

He also teaches drug awareness and driver safety classes on campus.

“We have counseling support already,” Mr. Messier said.

But he went on to add that there are social pressures affecting students these days — things happening in the school and in the parking lot that go beyond what traditional counselors can deal with.

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