Funding secured for school resource officers at every Harrison County school campus
Expect more police presence in some southern Indiana school districts.
The Harrison County Council approved $140,000 for new school resource officers at its meeting on Monday night.
The money will make sure an School Resource Officer is on every public school campus in Harrison County, which includes schools at South Harrison, North Harrison and Lanesville.
It's enough money for the SROs to be on campus for one semester.
"What we're requesting is four new resource officer positions," Sheriff Rod Seelye said. "That would bring the total to six resource officers for the Sheriff's Department and two resource officers for the Town of Corydon."
Seelye originally requested $320,000 for the officers. The County Council compromised by agreeing to fund one semester, so far.
The Sheriff's department already has an SRO program with South Harrison schools. There, Seelye said the SRO played a key role when a threat was made because of rapport with students.
"When (students) can look to somebody that they look up to, they will tell them things they probably wouldn't tell others," he said. "Quite frankly, we're able to garner a lot more information and have our finger on the pulse of what's going on in the schools."
The county will front the total cost for SROs. Each school district will then reimburse 70 percent.
"We won't hire somebody fresh off the street and expect them to be able to do a good job in the schools," Seelye said. "This will be people who are in our department now."
Seelye also said he could hire retired police officers from LMPD and other agencies.
The new officers will be on campus for the upcoming fall semester. The county will discuss future funding at a later date.
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