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Valley News Dispatch

2 new police officers patrolling halls in Highlands School District

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Joseph Naviglia, Jr. (left); Jeffrey Sheldon (right)
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The Highlands School Board in August approved hiring Joseph Naviglia, Jr. (left) and Jeffrey Sheldon (right) as police officers in the school district.

The Highlands School District has two new police officers.

Jeffrey Sheldon, a 1980 graduate of Springdale High School, was with the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office until 2016, as a deputy sheriff for seven years and as a sergeant for 24 years. He was a police officer at the Gateway School District for a year before coming to Highlands.

Sheldon replaces Richard Pritchard, who left Highlands for a position with the West Mifflin School District in July .

Joseph Naviglia, Jr., a 1980 Highlands graduate, was the police chief in Springdale for 17 years until retiring in 2013. He previously was a school police officer for three years, first with Community Day School in Squirrel Hill from 2015 to 2017 and, then, Gateway from 2017 to this year. He works part-time with East Deer police.

Sheldon is based at Highlands High School, while Naviglia is based at the middle school. They will visit and patrol all schools daily, according to the district.

“Their primary responsibilities with the district are to supervise and implement new security and safety measures and maintain a safe and secure environment for all Highlands students and staff,” according to a statement from the district.

“Since their first days on the job in late August, both officers Sheldon and Naviglia have quickly acquainted themselves with our district schools and have already established an authoritative, yet welcoming, presence among the students and staff,” the district said.

Sheldon wants to increase and strategically place new surveillance cameras in Highlands school buildings, and to encourage employees and students to report what they see.

“It never hurts to check things out for the safety and concern of all,” he said.

Naviglia said he wants to get to know students better.

“I want to interact more with the elementary and middle school students,” he said. “I hope to be a positive role model in their lives.”

Brian Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter @BCRittmeyer.

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