Andover Public Schools Superintendent Magda Parvey named Andover Police Officer Thomas Paolera the new school resource officer at Andover High School.

“I recognize there may be some trepidation with the return of an SRO to the high school,” Parvey said in a note sent to APS families Friday afternoon. “Officer Paolera’s role is to ensure the physical safety of the school campus. He is not responsible for enforcing school regulations, serving as a school disciplinarian, or using police powers to address traditional school discipline issues, including non-violent disruptive behavior. These responsibilities remain with AHS Principal Caitlin Brown and the school administration.”

Parvey said the decision to have a resource officer at AHS for the 2022-23 school year comes as part of a review of district safety practices. Last month, APS said it plans to hire an outside school safety and security firm to review safety practices in all of its school buildings.

Paolera graduated from AHS in 2008 and has been an Andover police officer for almost five years. Before that, he spent five years as a reserve officer.

“Officer Paolera’s prior experience and commitment to the community is encouraging as he begins his role as the SRO at AHS,” Parvey said. “Through our interactions, I have found his willingness to volunteer and engage in conversations with students at the first annual Andover Youth Town Hall to be a good indication of his commitment to the community.”