Penn Hills School District getting closer to creating police force

PENN HILLS, Pa. — The Penn Hills School District is one step closer to creating its own police force. On Wednesday night, the school board approved hiring a police supervisor.

According to Board president Erin Vecchio, the police force would include having at least one or two armed officers at each school and having one entrance and one exit for each school.

“That will happen during school hours, but we are going to figure out how to do it in the morning and then change over to when the school hours are going on,” said Vecchio.

The board says they will have to hire a police supervisor first.

“He will come in, see exactly what’s going on, then tell us what we need to do, how many police officers we need to work with. We are also bringing in the Penn Hills police to work with him to see what they feel we need too,” said Vecchio.

Sen. Jay Costa was also at Wednesday’s meeting, where he was recognized for the support he provided to the district, including helping to secure a nearly $325,000 state grant that can be used to establish the district’s police force.

Costa told Channel 11 that one of his priorities in Harrisburg was ensuring schools across the commonwealth have access to security enhancements.

“The steps the school district is taking… the broad base approach they are taking to security in the school buildings is really important and really thoughtful at this moment in time,” said Costa.

According to Vecchio, the goal is to have the police department created within the next three months. Once the supervisor is hired, another meeting will be held to outline what the district will do with the force.

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