The Town of Kennebunk, RSU 21, and the Kennebunk Police Department are pleased to announce two new School Resource Officers (SROs), Audra Higgins and Jason McClure. These two SROs will support Sea Road School and Kennebunk Elementary School. Both shared excitement for developing this new role, connecting with students, staff, and families, and enhancing school safety initiatives.
Following an affirmative vote by the Kennebunk Selectmen on May 29th, the Kennebunk Police Department posted these positions as anticipated internal openings. An interview team comprised of school administrators, town and police department officials, and an existing School Resource Officer interviewed four candidates. On June 18th, finalists Higgins and McClure met with Chief Robert MacKenzie and Superintendent Katie Hawes for a second interview where they were offered the positions.
RSU 21 voters supported a school budget that included 75% of the cost for four additional SROs, one for each elementary school. With the intention of using these SROs during the summers and vacation weeks in place of hiring reserve officers, the Kennebunk and Kennebunkport Selectmen each voted to support 25% of the cost in the 2020 budget development process.
Currently, the Kennebunkport Police Department is advertising for two SROs to be placed at Kennebunkport Consolidated School and Mildred L. Day School. Once candidates are identified, a similar, collaborative, hiring process will be conducted early this summer.
It is our hope to have all four SROs in place for the beginning of the school year, however there may be gap given the time it may take for our local police departments to hire and train replacement patrol officers.
These four new SROs will join Nate Jones, Kennebunkport SRO serving the Middle School of the Kennebunks and Mark Carney, Kennebunk SRO serving Kennebunk High School. The team will attend a National School Resource Officer Training this summer in Oakland, Maine as well as a School Resource Officer Summit at Cony High School this August. They will meet regularly to develop cohesive and aligned services in our schools.