Department of Education to give Penn Hills money toward first school police officer |
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The Penn Hills School District will receive $39,900 next school year to help pay for the district’s first school police officer, or SPO.

The district will be one of 114 school districts and municipalities to receive a total of $3.9 million through the Pennsylvania Department of Education, officials said last week.

An SPO differs from a school resource officer in that SPOs are retired police or federal agents that can issue citations for summary offenses on site at the district’s three schools, Assistant Superintendent Nancy Hines said.

Hines said the SPO will rotate throughout the district, but spend most of his or her time at the middle and elementary school because the district has Penn Hills police officers stationed at the high school.

She said any major offenses will be dealt with by the Penn Hills Police Department, and anticipates that the SPO issues citations for smoking, parking violations and other small offenses.

Schools such as Penn Hills that are receiving the grant for the first time will be eligible for a second grant during the 2015-16 school year.

Gateway School District received a first-year grant for $60,000, which district officials plan to use for an SRO.

Light Up Night in Penn Hills

Penn Hills will hold its annual Holiday Light Up on Dec. 4 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Penn Hills municipal building at 12245 Frankstown Road.

There will be Christmas caroling, pictures with Santa, refreshments and the unveiling of the annual Police Helping People Daily train display.

The event is sponsored by the municipality and the Penn Hills Quality Community Project.

The Penn Hills Rotary Club will sponsor the pictures with Santa.

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