In a surprise move Monday night, Susquehanna Township supervisors agreed to continue their support of the local COPS in Schools program, despite sending a letter to Northern Cambria Borough police that stated otherwise.

Chief Kevin Stanek received the letter Monday morning from Jenna Luka, the township’s secretary.

The letter said supervisors were planning to end their four-year commitment early, and would take action at Monday’s special meeting.

The COPS program began at Northern Cambria School District at the beginning of the 2005-06 school year, leaving more than two years remaining on the four-year program.

As part of the program, Officer Steve Cummins is on-site during school hours and supervises numerous safety, anti-drug and alcohol programs, as well as truancy.

While the program is funded by a grant for the first three years, the fourth year is funded by funds from the school district, borough, and both Susquehanna and Barr townships. Each township agreed to contribute $1,166 throughout each year of the program.

Although the meeting’s agenda reflected the township’s desire to pull out of the program, Stanek asked supervisors to reconsider.

“The program benefits everybody, including the townships and the borough,” Stanek said, citing a recent incident at Greater Johnstown School District in which students were subjected to a lockdown after a fight.

“Johnstown pulled the plug on their program (a few years ago),” Stanek said.

“I’m here to ask you to please not pull the plug on ours.”

Resident Allen Stossel warned supervisors of the implications of stopping participation.

“If you do pull (your support) of this program, it will go on the record that you don’t support a program that benefits taxpayers’ children,” Stossel said.

Both Supervisor Ben Wilshire and Nancy Davis said they agreed to continue participation.

“I do believe the COPS in Schools program is a good idea,” Wilshire said at the meeting. “I have a kid in seventh grade (at Northern Cambria), and it’s the best thing there.”

Trending Video

Recommended for you