SAXTON, BEDFORD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Officers in a Bedford County town will soon have some new technology, and the future of how those officers patrol the school district is in question.
The police department in Saxton recently received a grant from the USDA to purchase more police equipment, including new body cameras, while the Tussey Mountain School District is trying to continue their school resource officer program after running out of funding.
While students are out of school for the summer, the Tussey Mountain School District is investigating how to best keep their students safe. They’ve employed a school resource officer for the past three years, but the funding contract ended this month.
“That’s our hope is we would at least have someone here on site that could help us through that incident, should it ever arise, and again we pray that it never does,” Gary Dawson, Superintendent of Tussey Mountain School District, said.
The district office is working with their school safety committee, which includes local police and EMS workers, to decide which direction to go.
At the same time, the Saxton Police Department received funding for new body cameras, helping better train and prep their officers.
“What we’ve used, the body cameras in the past for was kinda like game tapes, so you can rewatch your calls, see if you missed anything, see if you could’ve done anything better, see if you missed any nonverbal cues that you missed,” David Buseck, Patrolman of the Saxton Police Department, said.
The police department is still finalizing which cameras they will purchase. Officer Buseck currently serves as the school resource officer.
“The community, as a whole, is trying to come together to be a safer place for our constituents and our students,” Dawson said.
The superintendent went on to say the school district will make sure plans are in place by the start of the next school year.
Both the school district and the Saxton police said safety is their top priority.