SULLIVAN COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – One Wabash Valley school district is implementing a new lifesaving resource. This as more is being done to protect students and staff in Sullivan County.
It’s the first day on the job for Officer Justin McBee. He wears his badge with pride, but also mingles with students like he’s one of them. “If they get to know you, it puts them at ease when they realize who we are and what we do,” he said.
Called to protect and serve, the hallways. McBee is the new School Resource Officer at Sullivan High School. He didn’t hesitate to jump at the opportunity.
“The relationships that we build with the students is probably the best part,” said McBee.
The Southwest School Corporation recently received $50,000 through a safety grant. The money went toward hiring three off-duty officers for the middle and elementary school, as well as the high school in Sullivan County.
“The one thing I’ve always said is, I feel like our schools are safe but they are not invincible,” said Superintendent Chris Stitzle.
The main goal? To be proactive against any and all threats, but SRO’s are also educators and mentors. “You know this will actually be someone in the building each day, working with the staff, working with the students, and being around if we need them,” said Stitzle.
Officer McBee aims to make a lasting difference, one that goes well beyond his call of duty. “We’re also here to build relationships with the students and staff, hopefully life-long relationships,” he said.
The corporation will have to re-apply for the safety grant next year. If they don’t receive the money, Stitzle tells us he will create a line in the budget. Since the program has been implemented they don’t plan on taking it away.