Matthew Sisk, director of safety and emergency preparedness for Upshur County Schools, addresses the commission at its Feb. 3 meeting. / Photo by Monica Zalaznik

Commission signs off on agreement for grant supporting middle school PRO officer

BUCKHANNON – Upshur County Commissioners have approved a contractual agreement for grant funding to partially support the Prevention Resource Officer position at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School.

At their Feb. 3 meeting, the commission approved a contract for a Justice Assistance Grant issued through the West Virginia Division of Administrative Services’ Justice and Community Services office. The grant will provide $15,000 to support the position of the PRO officer at B-UMS.

Matthew Sisk, director of safety emergency preparedness for Upshur County Schools, attended Thursday’s meeting to receive approval from the commissioners. The commission serves as a pass-through agency for that grant funding as a governmental entity.

“I’m here this morning to hopefully ask for your signature again for the next JAG grant,” Sisk said. “This is the grant that allows us to receive some reimbursement for the PRO Officer Program. I can’t stress enough how much this program means to the schools. Just yesterday, I spoke with Deputy (Tim) Menendez, and this morning I spoke with Sgt. (Dewaine) Linger, and this program means the world to the schools and safety for our students.”

He praised the officers involved in the program and their dedication to it.

“I tell them there’s a training, and both are more than willing to do it even though they’re not getting continuing education credits,” Sisk said. “As law enforcement, it’s almost a civilian response, but they know and understand the civilian response to critical situations is important for them, considering what their roles are within the schools, and they’re willing to do that, and you don’t always find that.”

In other Upshur County Commission news:

  • Commissioners approved a $1,500 funding request from Animal Outreach Project Inc. for the spay-and-neuter assistance program for Lewis/Upshur County animals.  
  • The commission approved correspondence from John Roby, president of the Upshur County Firefighters Association, recommending the appointment of Brian Elmore as Fire Association representative on the Upshur County Fire Board, effective immediately. Elmore’s term will expire June 30, 2023.
  • Commissioners approved an advertisement for a full-time deputy county clerk. Applications must be received by Feb. 18, 2022.
  • The commission adopted a policy extending emergency absentee voting.
  • Commissioners approved the number of election officials and election commissioners for the May 10, 2022, primary election.
  • The commission approved and signed correspondence to Governor Jim Justice requesting allocation of remaining state CARES Act funds toward emergency medical services funding. This letter is being sent in support of the Kanawha County Commission’s efforts regarding the same.

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