Indiana could soon see increased funding to help beef up security at local schools. It's part of Senate Bill One and the Attorney General was in Evansville today to get the word out.
Attorney General Greg Zoeller met with school and local law enforcement officials at EVSC. He's pushing support for Senate Bill One, which could help increase school security. Not many details on the bill were available, however, Zoeller does think the security model in place here is one others can follow.
"Here in Vanderburgh County they have a long history of a school resource officer and just heightened security. So they're almost a good model to show the rest of the state what some of the best practices are," said Zoeller.
Vanderburgh County Sheriff Eric Williams says the school resource officers make a big impact in local communities.
"Do we think it's having an effect? We haven't had an event here," said Williams.
EVSC has five school resource officers, or SRO's. That's one for every high school district and North High School has a full-time deputy.
"The rapport he builds up, just like the cop who walks a beat, or patrols a district," said Sheriff Williams. He gets to know his district and how things operate and what's going on. That knowledge serves as a huge deterrent or prevention mechanism," he said.
Now that Attorney General Greg Zoeller is pushing for a bill to help with school security, one that would provide funds through state matching grants, the City of Huntingburg is exploring the possibility of starting their own SRO program.
"We think that hurdle, of providing some funding, with what the attorney general and the state legislature is considering now, would give us that push to provide the security that we think our students deserve," said Denny Spinner, Huntingburg Mayor.
Despite the size of the school system, Zoeller says he wants the decisions to made locally.
"The people in these relationships really get to decide what's the best use the school safety funds," said Zoeller.
Mount Vernon Schools were also in on the discussion today. They're pushing for more funding when it comes to school security. As the grant that helps provide SRO's in that district runs out in just four months.
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