Thu January 17, 2013
Southern Indiana School Districts Embrace School Resource Officers
Clarksville Community School Corp. is expected to join its neighboring districts in adopting a school resource officer (SRO) to improve student safety.
SROs have been used in southern Indiana school districts for years, but recently President Obama signed an executive order supporting the school safety option.
This was part of 23 executive orders Mr. Obama signed this week to increase gun and school safety.
Officials with Clarksville Community Schools say they’re confident the board will approve the $38,000 SRO cost next week although the district plans to train the SRO—bringing in specialist Chris Crasper of the Indiana School Resource Officers Association—on Monday.
The board will vote in special session on Tuesday.
Board chair Bill Wilson says while the shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School underscores the need for an SRO, the district has been working on securing the position for months.
“We had a buzzer system and video cameras installed quite a while ago and we’ve been wanting a resource office because having a police officer in the school can help in many ways,” he says.
Although the officers are meant to provide a certain level of protection for students, some educators argue SROs cannot prevent major school violence like school shootings.
New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp. has six SROs that serve its 15 schools, primarily the secondary institutions including middle and high schools.
Greater Clark County Schools has a Jeffersonville police officer serving Jefferson High School and a part-time officer serving River Valley MS and Parkview MS, and the district has a Clark County Sheriff’s deputy that covers all Charlestown schools and another that serves New Washington schools, according to district officials.
West Clark Community Schools has one SRO serving its three schools that are housed on the same property.
In Jefferson County Public Schools there are 22 SROs.