CCSC takes safety step with school resource officers
CLOVERDALE -- At the same time it considered renovations to school buildings at its monthly July meeting, the Cloverdale Community Schools Board of Trustees also took a step to address school safety.
The board approved a contract that would facilitate the posting of school resource officers (SROs) at Cloverdale schools.
The contract will be enacted through LawMan Security & Consulting, a firm based in Evansville that has provided security services to businesses and organizations in western Indiana.
The contract will allow for Cloverdale Schools to employ six to seven trained officers from different sources, including the Cloverdale Police Department, Indiana State Police and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
At the meeting, CCSC superintendent Greg Linton stressed that the corporation would not depend on CPD, which is short-handed due to two of its officers receiving training at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy.
As such, the contract provides for a rotation of officers, lifting the burden off any one agency to devote the same officers to the task.
The contract is also a perpetual one, meaning that it will be continually renewed for each school year until another avenue may be found.
Linton later expressed optimism that the contract would enhance the school corporation’s security resources, which he says is needed given recent shooting incidents.
“The Noblesville shooting got the conversation going,” he said, referring to the shooting that occurred at Noblesville West Middle School in late May, leaving a teacher and student wounded.
“The motivation was to further ensure the safety of students and faculty, given that school shootings are now a recurring concern.”
Linton discussed having SROs with the superintendents of 10 other school corporations which employ LawMan’s services, all of which gave positive feedback.
What should not be inferred by the contract’s approval is that security within CCSC is currently lacking or unsustainable.
While typical measures like intercoms and security pads are in use, Linton ensured that teachers and staff are trained to handle these types of situations.
But Linton felt that there was a need for trained police officers who can mitigate or neutralize threats.
“The contract with LawMan is a necessary step to take now,” Linton said.
“As a corporation, we’re willing to go this route if it means better protecting our students.”
In the same vein, Linton said that this new step is just part of the corporation taking the issue one step at a time.
He provided that the contract will not open up the prospect of arming teachers and staff, which is a controversial component of the debate about keeping schools safe.
Linton acknowledged that the issue is a complex one, but maintained that this step-by-step approach will positively impact the response to shooting situations.
Linton also expressed his gratitude to the board for approving the contract, suggesting cooperation on the issue between school officials.
“I appreciate the board for doing this and for its support,” he said.
“I think that students, staff and parents will appreciate the extra security and the peace of mind that comes with it.”
The contract will take effect at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year on Aug. 7.