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[ATG] School City of Mishawaka receives $25K to add School Resource Officer
Start Date: 11/6/2013 All Day
End Date: 11/6/2013
Entry Description

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – The State of Indiana has begun awarding grant funding for school resource officers and other school safety measures under the new grant program that Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller had proposed and recommended last spring. Joined by leaders from the local school corporation and police department, Zoeller announced today that the School City of Mishawaka received a $25,000 grant to create another SRO position.

The Secured School Safety Board on which Zoeller is a member voted Oct. 23 to approve and fund grant applications from 116 Indiana schools to create or expand school resource officer (SRO) programs. The board also funded 196 applications for safety equipment and 18 applications for threat assessments.  Those funding options were established under Senate Enrolled Act 1, the two-year, $20 million grant program that Zoeller and State Sen. Pete Miller (R-Avon) had proposed in January as a funding source for school resource officers and school safety. The Legislature passed the bill in April, Gov. Mike Pence signed it into law and grant awards are currently being distributed.

“Schools throughout Indiana have shown strong interest in creating or expanding school resource officer programs, which underscores the findings of a needs assessment study my office conducted last November that found pent-up demand for SROs among school administrators and parents. School resource officers not only deter many of the problems in our schools but also can improve students’ respect for law enforcement. Hoosiers should thank their legislators for providing funding for the grants to meet local needs,” Zoeller said today during a visit to Mishawaka. 

School Resource Officers are trained law enforcement officers who have been through the police academy and then receive an additional 40 hours of certification in working with students in schools. 

"We are pleased to be recipients of the Secured Schools Safety Grant as it provides an opportunity to expand the positive relationship School City of Mishawaka has with the Mishawaka Police Department through the School Resource Office Program at John Young Middle School and Mishawaka High School,” said School City of Mishawaka Superintendent Dr. Terry E. Barker. “We look forward to extending the program into the elementary schools so that students can see the positive support provided by officers at a younger age."

“Receiving the Secured Schools Safety Grant will enable School City of Mishawaka and the Mishawaka Police Department to continue to address school violence, and further enhance our capacity to address its safety and security concerns with both prevention and intervention techniques creating a safer environment in our schools,” said Mishawaka Police Chief Ken Witkowski.

Zoeller serves on the Secured School Safety Board, which over the summer developed and implemented a grant application process. Schools had to submit their grant applications by a Sept. 30 deadline and the board screened the proposals and funded those best matching the criteria. The board heard 128 grant requests specifically for SROs and funded 116 requests, including Mishawaka’s. In the first round of grant funding, schools with enrollments of 1,000 or more could apply for grants of up to $50,000 to create or expand school resource officer positions; schools with enrollments of fewer than 1,000 could apply for grants of up to $35,000. Schools can apply again in subsequent rounds included under the total $20 million appropriation over two fiscal years. 

Senate Enrolled Act 1 which Zoeller advocated and Miller introduced also legally defined school resource officers and established requirements for their training. The National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) is a certified program and has taken the lead on training SROs in Indiana. Over the summer, Zoeller visited several communities around the state and encouraged school corporations to apply for the grants to create new SRO positions or expand existing SRO programs. 

The needs assessment study the Attorney General’s Office conducted in November 2012 prior to the Newtown Connecticut school shooting tragedy found that school administrators and law enforcement officers around the state would be interested in creating or expanding school resource officer programs, if additional funding were available. Zoeller and Miller cited that needs assessment study Jan. 3 in proposing Senate Bill 1. The legislation Miller introduced later passed by large margins in the Legislature and was signed into law by the governor.

“Public safety is the number one duty of government, and we are grateful to school officials and school resource officers around the state who helped make the case for SRO funding.  We appreciate the efforts of Senator Pete Miller, the Indiana General Assembly, Governor Mike Pence and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security in bringing this idea to fruition so parents and schools will have enhanced options for protecting schoolchildren,” Zoeller said.

NOTE:  More information about the Attorney General’s needs assessment study of November 2012 is at this link: http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?fromdate=5/1/2013&todate=5/31/2013&display=Month&type=public&eventidn=98771&view=EventDetails&information_id=181145

 -30-

Contact Information:
Name: Bryan Corbin
Phone: 317.233.3970
Email: Bryan.Corbin@atg.in.gov
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Entry Type:
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Entry Category:
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  • IN.gov Category:
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  • Agency Name
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