NORWAY — The Board of Selectmen voted Thursday to support funding a school resource officer at the Guy E. Rowe Elementary School on Main Street.

The Police Department received a $125,000 grant from the Office of Community Oriented Police Services, or COPS, a component within the U.S. Department of Justice dedicated to community policing.

Under the terms of the grant, the town will pay 10 percent of the cost for the position for the first year, 30 percent the second year and 60 percent the third year. At that time, the town will be responsible for 100 percent of the costs if it continues the program. The total local share is $65,000.

Calling it a “good program,” Selectman Russ Newcomb made the motion to back the plan. It was seconded by Warren Sessions.

The School Administrative District 17 board of directors must issue a Memorandum of Understanding, which is expected at its meeting Monday night.

Police Chief Rob Federico and school Principal Dan Hart met with selectmen Thursday night to explain how the funds would be used. Federico said a uniformed officer will be placed in the school to act as a “mentor” and build relationships with young children and act as a contact for staff and parents. The idea, he said, is to gain students’ trust and ward off future trouble.

The officer will have special training and will be armed.

“It would be a poor decision on my part to have a police officer in uniform not armed,” Federico said.

Hart and Federico both stressed that school officials must be comfortable with the plan for it to work.

Hart said he would still have priority over all school emergencies and student discipline, but if there is a situation needing police assistance, the school resource officer will be available.

He described the officer as “a positive mentor — a team member.”

In other news, the board approved a parking ban on part of Orchard Street near Pikes Hill Road where a new sidewalk has been constructed. Town Manager David Holt said the town partnered with Stephens Memorial Hospital to build the sidewalk along the back ridge of the new medical building on Pikes Hill.

The board also approved an application for a catered function for a golf tournament at the Norway Country Club and an application for a wedding reception at Granite Ridge on Delano Drive.

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