Village board hires police officer to patrol Massena school district
Tuesday, July 16, 2019 - 7:15 pm

BY ANDY GARDNER

North Country This Week

MASSENA -- The village board on Tuesday voted to hire Jody Daggett to work as an in-school police officer at Massena Central School District, a position officials refer to as a "school resource officer."

Daggett will be armed when working in the district, officials have stated previously.

He will be paid a per diem rate of $166.66 per day, to be paid by the school district, according to Chief Adam Love.

The district is using funds from the federal Title IV program to pay the officer.

Daggett has 22 years' experience with SUNY Potsdam University Police. 

"He's very knowledgeable in dealing with youth, and dealing with adolescents," Love said prior to the vote.

The only comment from trustees came from Francis Carvel, who just wanted to make sure the school district will pay Daggett's salary.

Local residents speaking at a community forum in late February all spoke in favor of having an armed law enforcement officer patrolling the district.

MCS Supt. Pat Brady in late February said the officer won't be there "to act as a disciplinarian."

"That's a fine line we want to make sure that doesn't get crossed,” Brady said. A job description says the officer would not be involved in student disciplinary measures.

On the same night Brady made that remark, Massena Police Dept. Lt. Jason Olson said the officer will be armed but the gun will be kept in a secure holster designed so a person can't just yank out the weapon.

"That firearm would never leave that officer's person," he said. "The holsters that we use are what we call a triple-retention holster. I'm not going to go into specifics for safety reasons. There's a sequence of three things you have to do to get the gun out of that belt."