The 2019-2020 school year is well under way, with students and staff in the full swing of classes, clubs, and athletics. With so much happening around campus, the District wanted to take a moment to recognize one of our newest staff members, School Police Officer Joseph Kovel.
Officer Kovel joined the District in July, filling a newly created position, which was the result of grant funding awarded through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Paul Ruhlman, and Safety Coordinator, Mr. Mark Pennabaker, applied for the grant in an effort to secure the position at BASD. The desire to have a School Police Officer was to ensure that the students and staff have a safe environment to learn and work.
While some of the responsibilities of the position include what you might expect of a law enforcement officer, the district created the position with higher standards. Safety and security are still top concerns for the officer but duties also include providing a support role for students. District leaders feel it is important for the school police officer to develop relationships with students so that they know the officer is someone that they can trust if they have a concern or are worried about something they see or hear. The position was created to make everyone feel comfortable and safe to go to school each day.
Officer Kovel comes to the District with extensive experience in law enforcement and safety and security. He was a Pennsylvania State Trooper for 26 years, working most of his career in Bedford County and also some time in Chester, Fulton, Forest, and Dauphin Counties. After retiring from the PA State Police, Officer Kovel was the Director of Security at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort.
The District is encouraged by the rapport ‘Officer Joe’ has already established with students. We welcome him to the District and look forward to the positive influence he will have with students and staff.