LEOPOLD, IN (WFIE) - Officer Levi Clark has become pretty well known among the students at Perry Central. His day usually includes roaming the halls, making sure doors are locked, and keeping the students safe.
“I tell students all the time that I’m not their teacher. I’m not their principal. I’m a police officer and I’m here to help you," said Clark.
Last week the district board voted to create a school-based police agency. Officer Clark will gain the power to make arrests, access to court and probation information, and more training.
“Firearms, physical tactics, all of the mandated training that police officers have to have, I get it. So it makes me a more highly trained officer to be in a school," said Clark.
Superintendent Mary Roberson says the in-house police force benefits not only the school, but local law enforcement.
“We felt like this plan was the best to serve our community and also as a way to support local law enforcement, so that we can take care of small issues in-house and not have to call on local law enforcement because they are already so stretched," said Roberson.
Roberson also added that she wanted the school’s resource officer to be more than just law enforcement. She wanted a resource that students can go to for various needs.
“It means that we get to have that one on one relationship, they understand that I am a human, I’m not there to get them in trouble. That is why it is very important to our job. It builds a rapport with the students but the student also knows the officer, knows what I am about," said Clark.