NEW PALESTINE — Each year, officials with the Town of New Palestine Police Department phase out an older police vehicle and purchase a new one for town service. Normally, town officials sell the older police vehicle and collect several thousand dollars.

This year, New Palestine Town Marshal Bob Ehle asked town officials if he could instead donate the vehicle to the Community School Corp. of Southern Hancock County (CSCSHC) for its main school resource officer (SRO) Scott McDaniel to use.

New Palestine Town Council members gathered Monday night for the school district’s board meeting at New Palestine Intermediate School and transferred the vehicle via an official resolution to the school district for $1.

Southern Hancock school board President Laura Haeberle and New Palestine Council President Teri Reed sign an official resolution to transfer the police vehicle to the school corporation.

“We needed a police car, and the Town of New Palestine had one they were going to surplus. They approached us and asked if we wanted it, and of course we wanted it,” CSCSHC Superintendent Lisa Lantrip said.

The car, which police officials note still has plenty of life left in it, will allow McDaniel to give up his police officer affiliation and vehicle with the Lawrence Police Department. McDaniel will now be affiliated with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department and have a county law enforcement vehicle, which is still marked as an New Palestine Police Department vehicle.

“I think officials with the school district wanted their full-time SRO to have a county law enforcement affliction, and I’m just glad we were in a position to be able to help,” Ehle said.

The district hired former longtime Department of Natural Resources conservation officer McDaniel, a local community member whose children attended the district, as their head SRO back in 2022. McDaniel had been serving as a reserve police officer with the Lawrence Police Department, while his main job was head SRO for Southern Hancock.

It’s a position he’ll maintain, but now will be affiliated with county law enforcement.

Southern Hancock officials say there is a great working relationship between the Town of New Palestine and the school district, and they are thankful for the partnership.

Officials from the Community School Corp. of Southern Hancock County and the New Palestine Town Council gathered at the most recent school board where town officials handed off a police car for the district.

“Anytime we can have two local a groups, the school district and our town council, working in tandem for kids and especially for safety — the number one priority — it’s a win-win for everybody,” CSCSHC Community Relations Director Craig Smith said.

New Palestine Town Council President Teri Reed, Secretary Chad Molinder and council members Ryan Hartley and Ethan Maple attended the school board meeting Monday night where they officially handed over the police vehicle to the school corporation.

“It’s wonderful to have all five of us on the council be on the same page to want to do something for the school district,” Reed said. “The move will help keep the kids safe.”

The board approved the resolution unanimously then noted how good it was to see town officials looking out for the school district.

“I’m thankful to the town and am just glad we are working together on something like this,” school board member Jon Hooker said.

School board member Dan Walker agreed and noted the town could have easily sold the car and made some money, but instead helped the school district.

“It speaks volumes about their commitment to the town to make our schools and the community better,” Walker said.