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Proposal calls for more officers in schools

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Brandon Smith
/
Indiana Public Broadcasting

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. 

Legislation Avon Republican Senator Pete Miller is proposing would provide a grant to school corporations – up to a 50 thousand dollar 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. 

Miller 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,” Miller said.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller says while the 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,” Zoeller said.

The proposal, while providing some funding to hire resource officers, would not mandate schools to participate.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.