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April 16, 2013

Jeffersonville agrees to hire another school resource officer

Greater Clark will pay $34,500 for a new officer

JEFFERSONVILLE —

Before word comes down from the state of Indiana, the city of Jeffersonville and Greater Clark County Schools agreed to cover the cost to add a school resource officer to the payroll.

Jeffersonville Police Department Chief Chris Grimm requested the Jeffersonville City Council allow him to hire a third school resource officer.

In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut, the city council hosted a meeting with school officials and the police to discuss the plan that was currently in place at the city’s schools.

Under a new contract drafted the school corporation has agreed to pay $34,500 to add a third school resource officer. Grimm said the base pay for a new police officer is $41,154

The cost of what Greater Clark was willing to pay to add the new officer was a concern for some council members.

“I think the school system really needs to pay quite a bit more, because not only are they getting an officer, they’re getting a patrol car,” said Councilman Mike Smith.

He added that the state is mulling a deal that would offer grant funds to pay to place resource officers in schools.

The legislation, Senate Bill 1, has been discussed in the Indiana General Assembly that could offer $10 million in matching grant funds to local school districts for protection in schools. What that protection entails has been the source of debate, whether it would mandate that all public schools have an employee armed with a loaded gun during school hours or allow for the hiring of school resource officers.

Gov. Mike Pence said he opposed the state mandating armed employees in schools, instead preferring the model school developed in Vigo County, according to a previous report in the News and Tribune. Vigo County School Corp. created a Safe Schools Task Force using a combination of school funds, local government dollars and private contributions, and were able to put 10 special county deputies into rural schools, adding to the existing law enforcement officers in the city schools.  

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