EH urged to reconsider adding school safety officer

CHARLOTTESVILLE — With less than four weeks to apply for another possible $50,000 state matching grant, Eastern Hancock school officials will try to settle on additional school safety options, including adding a school resource officer, prior to a special March 3 board meeting.  

A small but steadfast group of EH parents spoke at Monday’s school board meeting urging board members to consider hiring a security officer for the schools.

Officers already are on duty or are planned in the county’s other three school districts, where proponents say they can provide additional school security as well as address and deter daily discipline issues and build relationships in the community.

EH recently was approved by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security to receive $37,000 of its $50,000 request in the first round of the Secured School Safety program, a two-year, $20 million effort to help the state’s schools improve security and safety.

When funded, EH will use the money to install $74,000 worth of new door locks in campus classrooms, install extra security cameras and allow office staff the ability to lock down access to the building.

However, school officials have been cautious about adding a school resource officer to its security roster, citing concerns over how much benefit the added personnel would achieve in light of the cost.

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