Rather than sharing a school resource officer with other Hancock County schools, some districts are opting this school year to increase security by paying the sheriff’s office for a full-time officer.
Van Buren’s school board today approved a contract with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office for a full-time school resource officer.
The district will pay $52,000 for Deputy Matthew Crouch to be in the district full-time during the school year.
Riverdale also has a full-time officer this year. The district has a $52,000 contract with the sheriff’s office for Deputy Kreg Sheets to work 180 days at Riverdale.
Sheets previously worked in multiple districts, including Riverdale.
Deputy Shane Leeth will continue to work as a school resource officer in other county schools.
School resource officers are sworn law enforcement officers responsible for safety and crime prevention in schools. They are typically employed by a local police department or sheriff’s office, and work with school administrators in an effort to create a safer environment for students and staff.
Riverdale Superintendent Jeff Young expects more school districts will opt for full-time school resource officers, especially if the state provides funding.
Employing a full-time school resource officer is one more cost, Sheets said, but he predicted it’s one more schools may be willing to shoulder.