IN lawmaker's school resource officer proposal

Jan 4, 2013

A new proposal from Attorney General Greg Zoeller and a GOP state senator would help Indiana schools put more police officers in their buildings. 

School resource officers are already present in somewhere between a quarter and a third of Hoosier schools.  Senator Pete Miller (R-Avon) is proposing legislation that would provide a grant to school corporations – up to a $50,000 funding match – to add resource officers to their schools.  The bill would also require that all school resource officers have law enforcement certification and training to work in a school environment.  He calls the proposal a first step in addressing violence like the Newtown school shooting:

“No one is suggesting that this is the end-all, be-all to school security, that there will be others in the legislature, there will be…the governor-elect, I’m sure, would like to weigh in.”

Attorney General Greg Zoeller says while the Newtown, Connecticut, shooting spotlights  school safety, resource officers play a larger role.

“This relationship in schools with a school resource officer can help develop a better relationship of respect for law enforcement.”

The proposal, while providing some funding to hire resource officers, would not mandate schools to participate. The bill sets aside $10 million for the grants, but does not specify a funding source.