Brown County Schools will have a resource officer for the first time ever during the upcoming school year, thanks to a grant from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.
The school district is matching the $50,000 state grant to hire a school resource officer and pay for the extensive training required for the position.
The officer will be stationed at Brown County High School, but will manage safety across all the district schools.
Superintendent Laura Hammack says the district would never have been able to afford a school resource officer without the homeland security grant.
“We’re folding in all these different elements to really enhance school safety in Brown County and getting this particular grant was icing on the cake for us,” she says.
The district can choose to hire the position or to reimburse local law enforcement for providing an officer. Hammack says she’s working with the Brown County Sheriff’s Department to decide the best choice.
Brown County is wrapping up a school safety overhaul. Earlier this year, the district approved a $3 million bond for safety upgrades, including securing front entrances at the intermediate and junior high schools.
Hammack says she expects the resource officer to be in place in time for a two-day, community-wide active shooter training in early August before school starts.
The grant is for one year, but the district can re-apply for the funds every year.
Hammack says they’re also planning to take advantage of a state program announced this week to provide free metal detector wands to every district in the state.
She says school officials will meet this week to decide how many detectors they want to request. Schools have until July 19 to request them in order to receive them by mid-August.
Hammack says they won’t use the detectors until all staff are trained, so it’s unlikely they’ll be in use by the time school starts on Aug. 8.