Andover High School is the only high school in the area without a police resource officer working in the school.

Patrolman Brian Blouin, 30, an Andover police officer for six years, will be the school resource officer at Greater Lawrence Technical School. He'll walk the halls of the 360,000-square-foot building as the first-ever school resource officer in town.

It's one of the final pieces of a plan to overhaul security at the school, which is on a 26-acre campus and serves 1,400 students from Lawrence, Andover, North Andover and Methuen.

While Police Chief Brian Pattullo is excited about having a police officer at Greater Lawrence Technical School, he's still concerned there isn't an officer at Andover High School.

Methuen, Lawrence, Haverhill and North Andover all have officers assigned to their high schools.

Andover High does not have an officer because the town and school budgets lack the necessary money, Pattullo said.

He said Superintendent Claudia Bach's refusal to sign a memorandum of understanding has also gotten in the way. It's an agreement among the school, the Police Department and the Essex County District Attorney's Office that says the school will report any criminal activities of its students.

The agreement originated in the District Attorney's Office about a decade ago. Most school districts in the county have signed it.

Not signing the document doesn't prohibit the school from having a police officer on campus, but it does formalize the role of the officer and the school in providing information to police.

Bach would not comment on why she won't sign the memorandum, but said in an e-mail, "We very much would like to have a Resource Officer in our high school, but have not been able to do so due to budget cuts to the Andover Police Department budget ... A number of years ago, we came close to being able to do this, but then the budget cuts hit, and it became impossible."

Greater Lawrence Technical School carved out $40,000 from its budget for its school resource officer. The towns that send students there | Andover, Methuen, North Andover and Lawrence | contribute to the school's budget. The officer's benefits will be funded through the town of Andover since he is already a police officer there.

Bringing in an officer was a big piece of the security overhaul at Greater Lawrence Technical School, which Superintendent Judy Ann DeLucia and Principal Maureen Busa-Gilbert think is important.

That overhaul included having the students build a security desk and also the purchase of a state-of-the-art system that scans the licenses of all visitors and prints badges for them.

DeLucia said schools from across the state have been looking at their security system for ideas.

Students are building a security kiosk in the parking lot that they will staff and stop check vehicles when they enter.



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