HERKIMER — Herkimer police have added another school resource officer to assist in the Herkimer Central School District in an effort to have an officer present at both school buildings to increase safety.

Police Chief Michael Jory said Officer Matt Wright has been stationed at Herkimer Elementary School since April 2, but he can be called back to the Herkimer Police Station if staffing is short.

Jory said the move came after a March 28 school board meeting where he had a discussion in open session with board members about how to improve school safety.

“I felt the need to do what we could for the elementary students as well, after all, they are students from our village,” Jory said in an email. “They play in our parks, they ride bikes in our neighborhoods, their parents pay taxes in our village, I think they should be afforded the same protection as the students in our (junior/ senior) high school.”

Jory said he spoke with district Superintendent Robert Miller and Herkimer Elementary School Principal Renée Vogt after the meeting and advised them he could assign Wright to the elementary school, when staffing allowed.

“Should there be a need to have Wright on patrol, he would be pulled from the school to avoid overtime or to fill short shifts,” the chief said. “Fortunately, with the cooperation of the other officers, we have been able to have Wright at the school every day since April 2.”

Wright’s salary is coming through the village and no additional funding is needed, said Jory.

Jory said with Wright at the elementary school, school resource officer Shauna Jones is able to spend more time in the junior/senior high school building. Jones, who also is a member of the Herkimer Police Department, started her duties in September after a new partnership between the village and school district.

Miller said the district is “thankful” to the Herkimer village board and the Herkimer Police Department for working with them to provide an additional officer.

“We are working within our current contract and budget with the village to have an SRO in both buildings,” he said.