Indiana District to Create School Police Department

Indiana District to Create School Police Department

Clark-Pleasant Community School Corporation is creating its own police department, which will supplement the school resource officers already in place.

Clark-Pleasant Community School Corporation is creating its own police department, which will supplement the school resource officers already in place.

The plan was approved by the school board last week. Clark-Pleasant Schools had already hired former Franklin Police Chief Tim O’Sullivan as security director; now O’Sullivan will become chief of the school’s new police department.

The district plans to hire two full-time police officers this summer, who would begin working at the schools this fall. Those new officers will join the 14 school resource officers who already serve part-time at Clark-Pleasant schools.

The district plans to spend about $650,000 annually on salary and benefits for the school’s officers, including school resource officers, as well as the new director and an administrative assistant. According to Business Director Jay Staley, the administrative assistant will monitor security cameras, help with officer training and assist with the district’s safety plans.

Funding for the officer salaries, as well as an active monitoring system that will track campus activity via hundreds of cameras in all district buildings, will come from revenue from a referendum passed by voters in November. The cost of the monitoring system hasn’t been determined yet.

O’Sullivan said he hopes to increase police department staff from two full-time officers to four, but it’s unlikely that will happen in the next school year.

Officers with the Clark-Pleasant Police Department will have the same duties and responsibilities as a school resource officer; however, the officers will be less involved in classroom activities than school resource officers typically are, O’Sullivan said.

He said that adding full-time police officers as part of a school police department is in consistency.

“We want to get them established in the buildings, establish a relationship with staff and students and work with surrounding agencies,” O’Sullivan said.

Officers will be assigned to a certain building, but will be required to be familiar with all eight schools, he said.

The next steps for the school police department include hiring the two officers and a security monitor, creating the wall of screens to display security footage from throughout the district and ensuring that officers undergo 40 hours of training from the National Association of School Resource Officers.

The officers will then be introduced to administrative staff, and students in the fall.

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.

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    March/April 2019

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