Sippican School selects new school resource officer

Aug 29, 2023

MARION — Sippican School in Marion will have a new face keeping kids safe on campus when school starts on Wednesday, Aug. 30.

Marion Police Officer Jonathan Tracy was selected as Sippican Elementary School Resource Officer, announced Marion Police Chief Richard Nighelli in a press release. 

"On behalf of our Sippican School community, I want to welcome Officer Jonathan Tracy as our new School Resource Officer," said Sippican School Principal Marla Brown. "We look forward to seeing the connections he will build with our students, staff and families."

As School Resource Officer, Tracy will be responsible for “maintaining a safe and secure environment at school and during special events, counseling and guiding school administrators regarding school safety, building positive relationships, and providing students and staff with safety presentations and programs,” read a press release. 

Tracy has served the Marion Police Department since 2018. He has more than 20 years of experience as a full-time police officer, and a “passion for community engagement and working with children.”

As a resident and police officer in Marion, Tracy has already started building a relationship with the school community by reading to students, using the Marion Police Department satellite office in Sippican School, and volunteering as a youth softball coach.

"I would like to thank and congratulate Officer Tracy on his new role," said Nighelli. "Since his appointment to the Marion Police Department in 2018, Officer Tracy has displayed the highest qualities of the [department]. I am confident in his ability to serve as a positive role model to the students and will continue to foster a positive relationship with the Sippican Elementary School community."

According to the press release, Tracy has extensive training in community policing. He will attend additional school resource officer-specific training as it becomes available.

"We have been working to place a full-time School Resource Officer in the Sippican School, and I am pleased to see it come to fruition," said Old Rochester Regional School District Superintendent Mike Nelson. "We are looking forward to working alongside Tracy and continuing to build on our relationship with the police department to enhance school safety."

Funding for a full-time school resource officer at Sippican School was approved at this year's Marion Town Meeting.

The Marion Police Department currently has multiple certified school resource officers working for the department, should Tracy be out of the office for any reason.

Prior to working in Marion, Tracy served the Lebanon, N.H. Police Department from 2003 to 2018, becoming a senior officer-canine handler. He was recognized as the Lebanon Police Officer of the Year, is a recipient of the Lebanon Police Department Life Saving Award, and was a member of the Drug and Narcotic Detection Canine Team of the Year. Tracy also received the New Hampshire Congressional Law Enforcement Award for dedication and professionalism in 2016.

He also holds a Bachelor's degree in geography and regional planning from Westfield State College.

"I'd like to thank the town stakeholders for supporting the need for an school resource officer at Sippican Elementary School," said Marion School Committee Chairperson April Nye. "It shows that our town officials and the citizens of Marion prioritize the safety of our children."