DeRuyter Central School District hires first SRO
DeRuyter, N.Y. —
A focus on school safety for the Madison County Sheriff's Department.
Over the past year, the sheriff has been working with the county and district leaders to get retired police officers in school districts, if leaders express interest.
So far the department hired a total of three school resource officers, which adds two more SROs to Chittenango School District and one in DeRuyter Central School District.
This is the first school resource officer hired by DeRuyter Central School District.
"This came up for me and it was a perfect fit for me, it's close to home, I love being here," Officer Karl Vonknoblauch explained.
Officer Karl is the new face in the building and begins his day at 7: 30.
Dressed in uniform ready to patrol the hallways, talk to students and help keep everyone safe in the building that holds students from K-12.
"I like that he is keeping our school safe," 3rd grader, Madison Weeks, said.
And he has been ever since his first day back in February of this year.
Before this job, he worked for Syracuse Police for 21 years.
Mrs. Wykstra's 3rd grade class already likes the idea of having Officer Karl around.
"I like him and I give him lots of hugs," 3rd grader, Harli Henry, added.
Madison county sheriff Todd Hood made it a goal to help school districts add more school resources officers to its buildings.
This district is one of many in the county that showed interest in getting an officer inside the building within the last year.
Hood said school resource officers can help emergency response times in rural areas.
"DeRuyter School District is a long way from the Madison County headquarters, there's officers down here all the time but this gives them an officer essential in the community that is down here getting involved with the kids and their parents," Sheriff Todd Hood said.
The county and school district work together to split the roughly $40,000 cost of each retired police officer.
Something Officer Karl said is a great idea.
A friendly face and bond, kids find comfort in, while he protects each person in the building.