New sheriff targets officer grant

MAYFIELD – Improving safety in our schools is on the list of priorities for Fulton County’s new sheriff.

Sheriff Richard Giardino spoke at Mayfield Central School District’s school board meeting Tuesday regarding a School Resource Officer grant being offered by the Department of Justice.

A SRO is a law enforcement officer responsible for providing security and crime prevention services in the school environment, according to the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services website –

The officer works with school administration to try and provide a safer environment for the students and staff.

“It’s a DARE officer continuation,” Giardino said.

The school districts with the officer would include Broadalbin-Perth, Mayfield, Northville, Wheelerville and Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville. The officer would be in each school one day per week.

The grant would cover 75 percent of the cost of the officer for three years.

“The fourth year an agency has to pick up [the cost,]” Giardino said.

Giardino said he hopes the school districts could collaborate to pay for the remaining 25 percent, which would be about $6,700 per year from each district.

“I remember the days we had resource or DARE officers in schools,” Giardino said.

Giardino said he is reaching out to the other districts in hopes of showing them his presentation.

Mayfield Superintendent Jon Peterson said the only problem the school board had with the proposal involves a budget deficit it is looking at.

“We agree in principle, but we have to see [if it fits] with the budget building process,” Peterson said.

Giardino said he must go through the Fulton County Board of Supervisors to apply for the grant. The districts must approve donating the remaining 25 percent before he can apply.

“The application comes out in May. So we need to apply by June,” Giardino said.

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