$5K surges in to keep police on school patrol

By Jason Hawk - jhawk@civitasmedia.com

A letter campaign has won over roughly $5,200 in donations to keep Wellington police on special watch at the village’s schools.

While every penny helps, the recent giving is not enough to provide security through the end of the school year, Wellington board of education member Ayers Ratliff said Tuesday.

Another $2,300 or so is needed to pay for the extra police presence through Friday, June 10, when the academic year ends, said district treasurer Michael Pissini.

Off-duty officers are paid $25 per hour by contract to provide the extra coverage.

Letters were sent by Pissini, superintendent Dennis Mock, and Wellington police Lt. Jeff Shelton. They solicited donations to help pay five officers who rotate shifts watching over the village’s three schools.

The short-funded program has been in jeopardy since the start of the 2015-2016 year this fall, finding a month or two at a time.

The calendar year started with a $12,000 need.

In January, students themselves rose to the challenge as the K-Kids program at Westwood Elementary gave $500. The Westwood Education Association contributed another $1,000 to keep security details.

By late February, enough cash had been raised to pay for police patrols through April.

Now an April 5 spaghetti dinner fundraiser is planned to help further close the gap — and possibly start squirreling money away to pay for a continued police presence in the hallways next school year.

The dinner will run from 5-7:30 p.m. at Wellington High School. The cost as voiced to the Wellington board of education Tuesday will be $10. It will also feature a basket raffle by the K-Kids.

Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.

By Jason Hawk