A sergeant with the Oak Bluffs police department will take on a new role this year as the school resource officer at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School.
Sgt. Michael Marchand will take on the new role effective Sept. 2. Sergeant Marchand has been working in law enforcement on the Island for more than 20 years and came highly recommended by both the Oak Bluffs police department and the regional high school committee, schools superintendent Dr. James H. Weiss told the Gazette this week.
“Sergeant Marchand is a very good match for the role. He has kids at the school, his wife was on the school committee in Oak Bluffs for a number of years, he relates really well to kids and he has been on the police force for a number of years. We’re fortunate to get a longtime officer for the job,” he said.
A decision to hire a full-time police officer to remain on school grounds five days a week began this past spring with urging from the Martha’s Vineyard Youth Task Force. All six towns voted to approve the position, Dr. Weiss said, and the regional high school committee approved funds for it as well, drafting a memorandum of understanding for the duties and responsibilities with input from Oak Bluffs town officials.
Mr. Weiss said the official appointment was delayed until new high school principal Gilbert E. Traverso was on-Island.
“We waited to appoint him this week because we wanted to make sure the new principal would get a chance to meet him before the appointment,” Mr. Weiss said. Sergeant Marchand and Mr. Traverso met early this week at the school prior to the appointment, he said.
“There hasn’t been a school resource officer in many years at the high school and I think it’ll be very good to have one. It’s really a good connection between the police department and our young people and he’ll get a good look at what’s going on,” Mr. Weiss said.