KNOX COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – A newly installed Knox County Sheriff’s Deputy, which will serve as school resource officer in the South Knox Corpration, will head for state mandated training Monday.
The deputy’s installation comes following South Knox schools receiving an Indiana Department of Homeland Security Grant last week. The move will also complete a security picture in Knox County, where each county school has a staffed School Resource Officer; all officers are Knox County Deputies.
The joint effort comes courtesy of the grant, and funds provided the county. Knox County Sheriff Mike Morris told News 10 Thursday a financial package is in the works, that will land the deputy on the school’s doorstep for the fall of 2014.
“I was contacted by superintendent Tim Grove and we are working together to put together package as we have in the North Knox area to provide an additional one additional school resource officer for South Knox,” said Morris.
A deputy, according to Morris, was already stationed in the South Knox School Corporation, at the expense of the school budget. That deputy had been in place for several years, said Morris. The already in place officer worked between South Knox Elementary and South Knox Middle High Schools, which are divided by about 600 feet. Both schools sit along highway 61, in a rural area of the county.
In an earlier interview with News 10, South Knox Schools Superintendent Tim Grove explained that some of the biggest security issues at the school involved split custody disputes, but still took bigger threats very seriously; being a remote school was one of them.
“It’s remote basically, there’s one major highway connecting both schools, so it’s a remote situation,” said Morris.
Grove also explained to News 10, some of the grant money would go towards updating outdated burglar alarms, and adding interior security measures that funneled visitors into the high school’s main office.
“We’re turning our loved ones, I mean our precious little ones, and even if it’s a precious little one that’s 18 years old, they’re released into our care, and as a parent myself, I know I want to think I’m putting them in a place where they’re going to be taken care of,” said Grove.
The newly appointed resource officer, Morris pointed out, will be promoted from within the Knox County Jail, which in turn will vacate a position at the jail. That position will also subsequently be filled. When the School Resource Officers are out for school break, they’ll report to the Knox County Sheriff’s office for duty.
“It’s good for the citizens of the county, and it’s good for the school corporation, because when they are not in the schools, they are working for us, so it’s a two edged sword,” said Morris.