MARION — Superintendent Michael S. Nelson and Marion Police Chief Richard B. Nighelli wish to share information about a new joint initiative launched between the Marion Police Department and the Sippican School.
As of Dec. 7, a space within the Sippican School has been designated as a Marion Police satellite office, which on-duty Marion Police officers will be able to make use of as a secondary space for administrative police duties.
The initiative was developed by Superintendent Nelson, Chief Nighelli and Sippican School Principal Marla Sirois, with support from the Marion School Committee, after Sippican School parents and guardians expressed a preference for having a regular police presence in the school, and as a means to provide an extra measure of safety and security for students and staff during the school day.
“It is important that everyone feels they have a safe and secure environment to learn in, work in and send their children to,” Superintendent Nelson said. “While we are always hopeful that a police presence will not be needed during the school day, this initiative will provide a meaningful added layer of safety. I would also like to express my appreciation to Chief Nighelli and his officers for their partnership and efforts to establish this initiative.”
The satellite office will be able to be used by a limited number of officers at any one time during the day, and it may not always be staffed.
The officers who use the satellite office will not serve as school resource officers at this time, nor will they have any involvement in day-to-day school operations, activities or discipline. However, should it be necessary, the officers will be present and able to quickly respond and assist in the event of an emergency in the Sippican School building or on its grounds.
“We are grateful to have a positive relationship with our Marion school community and are pleased to be setting this initiative in motion,” Chief Nighelli said. “We continue to work with the school on safety policies and this initiative is another example of that commitment. I would also like to recognize our officers who have been willing to participate in this new initiative, as it would not be possible without their support.”
Added Marion Interim Town Administrator Judy Mooney, “The new police satellite office is a unique initiative that enhances the safety of Sippican School students and staff, and I look forward to seeing the advantages it can provide. We are all united in doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our schools, and I commend Superintendent Nelson, Chief Nighelli and their staff for coming together to get this off the ground.”
“Over five years ago, when I initially sought election to the Marion School Committee, my platform was based on improving school security measures and providing added layers of safety for the children, staff, volunteers and community members who are in that building every day, Marion School Committee Chair April Nye said. “Collectively, we have been brainstorming ideas and ways in order to get our SRO full time into the school, so I was beyond thrilled and so thankful when Chief Nighelli approached the Superintendent and me with his satellite office idea. I appreciate that the Town of Marion and Select Board also support this endeavor and I look forward to continuing our work with all parties towards the full-time SRO goal in the future. These positive working relationships that we have developed and fostered are much appreciated and vital. As a committee member, a parent and resident of this wonderful town, I am truly grateful for the support of Chief Nighelli and his officers, the Superintendent and his staff, the Town of Marion and our community as a whole.”