Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

District Shifts School Safety and Security Coordinator Roles Compliance with New State Law Leads to Change

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

District Shifts School Safety and Security Coordinator Roles Compliance with New State Law Leads to Change

Article excerpt

The particulars of a new state law regarding security necessitated a shift in titles in the Mars Area School District.

The school board had previously appointed Louis Gentile of Corporate Security and Investigations, the district's longtime security firm, as school safety and security coordinator, a position required under State Act 44.

However, the law also stipulates that the school safety and security coordinator be a district administrator, and Mr. Gentile is an outside contractor. District solicitor Tom King said Mr. Gentile was not "comfortable" holding the position with the language in the law.

Consequently, the board on Dec. 4 accepted Mr. Gentile's resignation as coordinator and appointed his firm as school safety and security consultant. Jeffrey Bitzer, who was the assistant safety coordinator, was appointed as the safety coordinator. Mr. Bitzer also is director of technology for the district, an administrative position.

"I think you get the same result, but [Mr. Gentile] is more comfortable that way," Mr. King said. "I don't think we lose anything because we keep the same people in place."

Mr. Gentile will continue handling the bulk of the school safety tasks, he added. …

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