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Shikellamy High School. (Google Maps)

(Harrisburg) — Some midstate students will start the school year this fall with their own police force.

The Shikellamy School District in Northumberland County recently approved a nearly $94,000 budget to hire a police chief and a part time officer.

Superintendent Jason Bendle said he wants the officers to develop relationships with students, “and really break down some those barriers of, kind of that mentality of thinking that police are bad and that they’re actually here to protect us.”

Bendle added he believes the force will act as a deterrent to potential threats.

“The difference of us having a police force here is 100 percent of our officers’ time is spent here at the school,” he said.

School districts across Pennsylvania are taking up the issue of school security.

Some have developed their own forces, while others rely on school resource officers from local departments, and still others are debating whether to allow teachers and staff to carry firearms.