School district, town working together to get police officer for Edinburgh schools

(WTHR photo Anna Carrera)
Edinburgh Looking for a School Resource Officer
Looking for a school resource officer

EDINBURGH, Ind. (WTHR) - There are no school resource officers inside Edinburgh district buildings. The superintendent wants to change that, but wasn't sure where to turn since he has a tight budget to work with. Town leaders are now stepping up to try to come up with a solution to keep kids safe.

The police department in town isn't that far away from the school buildings. They're just a couple blocks away, but the superintendent says that's not the point. He says there's so much more they can gain from having a school resource officer within their district.

"[In previous experience,] the SRO established a relationship with individual students, with staff, and students felt very comfortable talking to the SRO," said superintendent Doug Arnold. "So in many cases, you can prevent something that might have happened if a police officer hadn't been there. The only concern I have is the cost."

One way they could pay for the SRO is with a Secured School Safety Grant from the state's Department of Homeland Security. It's a matching program, so if they wanted $50,000 to get things up and running, district leaders would need $25,000 of their own money before the state would match the other half.

"Our education fund is very tight and because of that, I wasn't sure if that was something we could afford," said Arnold.

The school board sat down with the town council and now they're trying to work together, with town leaders eager to help foot the bill.

"I look forward to working closely with Dr. Arnold to have this on the fast track, develop a plan, a strategy, and see what we need to do going forward," said Town Manager JT Doane.

It won't be done by the time classes start again next month, but district leaders are hopeful their schools could be that much safer very soon.

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