Police car

MorgueFile 

SUNBURY — The Shikellamy School District now has a police chief and part-time officer after the school board approved the hirings Thursday night.

Todd Hoover was hired as chief at $28 per hour and Olegario Martinez was hired at $25 per hour.

Both Hoover and Martinez are retired Pennsylvania State Troopers, Superintendent Jason Bendle said. 

Neither hire was at the board of directors meeting on Thursday, but Bendle said he was happy with the new force.

"I believe we hired two excellent candidates for both the police chief and school police officer," he said. "With their police knowledge and leadership I believe the district can only benefit."

Both officers contracts start on Friday pending clearances. 

Bendle also announced that, thanks to Sunbury Motor Company owner Tom Mertz, the district received word they were going to get a brand new Ford Fusion donated to the district for three years.

"It's a three-year lease and we are so thankful to Mr. (Tom) Mertz," Bendle said.

Sunbury Police Officer in Charge Brad Hare said he was happy for the district.

"We are all going to work together," Hare said. "It's all about the safety of the kids and the school district."

The new officers will only have legal authority in Shikellamy schools in the district.

Bendle said the new force will work with Sunbury police and state police to develop a comprehensive safety plan.

The Shikellamy police department's primary function will be to monitor the inside and outside of all the district's buildings, Bendle said.

The district approved a $93,778 budget for the police force last month.