The Westlake City School District is starting the 2018-2019 school year with two new School Resource Officers through the Westlake Police Department.
Officer Pat Foye and Officer Ted Morley are the new School Resource Officers/Drug Abuse Prevention Officers at Lee Burneson Middle School and Dover Intermediate School, respectively. Foye and Morley, who both previously served with the Lakewood Police Department, join Officer Scott Fortkamp, who has been the SRO at Westlake High School for 18 years.
Foye, who spent 25 years in Lakewood, is a U.S. Army Reserves veteran with multiple deployments and served on WEB SWAT, as a WEB negotiator and a narcotics detective.
Morley, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, served 30 years in Lakewood. He was a member of Westshore Enforcement Bureau (WEB) SWAT and the U.S. Marshals Service Task Force. He also served as a community officer, and a firearms and tactics trainer.
“They are going to be establishing themselves at their respective schools this year, getting to know parents, teachers and students,” said Police Chief Kevin Bielozer. “We’ve got a great relationship and open communication with the schools.”
The SRO program expansion is the result of a joint venture between the Westlake Police Department, The Westlake City Schools and concerned community members, particularly resident and business owner Don Mueser of Cleveland Door Control.
Westlake Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Goggin said the SRO program is an extension of a strong partnership with the City of Westlake.
“The schools are committed to working with the city in a true partnership to better our community as a whole,” Dr. Goggin said. “The SRO program is another example of that strong working relationship based on mutual respect.”
The salaries of Foye and Morley are partially funded through the City of Westlake and a State of Ohio Drug Use Prevention Grant secured by Bielozer.
SRO/Drug Abuse Prevention Officer Kendra Yurgionas, whose expertise is in social media and cybercrime, will continue to educate students and parents on these topics. D.A.R.E. Officer Keenan Cooke also will continue to provide education to third, fifth, and seventh grades.
The Westlake Police Department also plans to continue visiting Westlake’s elementary buildings as part of their daily patrols. Bielozer said he plans to add another SRO at the new elementary building, which is scheduled to open for the 2019-2020 school year.