GREENSBURG — On Friday, the state of Indiana announced that the Decatur County School Corporation (DCCS) and Greensburg Community Schools have been awarded a grant of $50,000 apiece as part of the state’s School Safety Initiative Awards, which are funded by State Senate Bill 1.
According to a press release, the amount represents the maximum grant amount conferred through the School Safety Initiative.
Decatur County Emergency Management Agency Director Rob Duckworth spoke briefly Monday afternoon to the Daily News about the awards.
According to the director, while both school corporations will use the grants to enhance school safety, each will put the money to use in different ways.
To this point, Duckworth explained, DCCS has never employed a school resource officer from local law enforcement, while GCS has used retired Greensburg Police Veteran Bruce Copple for several years.
DCCS, Duckworth said, will use the grant to help fund its first school resource officer.
GCS, on the other hand will use the money to purchase safety-related equipment to make Copple’s job more efficient and productive and to enhance school safety in general. GCS Superintendent Tom Hunter announced that the grant will be used to “enhance existing camera and door security.”
Duckworth also noted that only 50 percent of the DCCS grant will fund the salary for the new resource officer, while the remaining money will be used to help facilitate and enhance emergency action plans and general school security.
According to DCCS Superintendent Johnny Budd, the remaining fund will be used to “enhance early warning for first responders,” and to improve door locks and communication between staff, administrators and law enforcement.
“We’re not sure, yet,” Duckworth added, “if the new resource officer will come from within a local law-enforcement agency or be hired from outside, but the first priority is to get a uniformed personnel in place and have that person help facilitate the corporation’s understanding what role law enforcement can play in school-related incidents.”