According to Duckworth there are significant advantages to using a law-enforcement liaison. For one, he said, such personnel can help schools handle disciplinary incidents internally that might otherwise involve external law enforcement. In other words, incidents that might otherwise have serious, severe consequences that are disproportionate to the offender’s young age and non-existent criminal background, can be handled as a “teaching moment,” with less severe consequences.
School resource officers are a great tool for early intervention, Duckworth explained. They can help teach kids regarding the consequences of their actions in the adult world and thereby give them a second chance to learn from their mistakes.
Beyond that, these officers, the director added, are invaluable for emergency planning and for creating blue prints schools can follow when responding to a crisis. From a battery to a full-scale evacuation, emergency planning is crucial in helping schools respond quickly and efficiency.
Duckworth also noted that the grant process for the School Safety Initiative Awards was highly competitive, and that receiving an award – or even a complete award – was far from guaranteed.
“We’re very fortunate to receive the full amount,” he said. “The Indiana Department of Homeland Security reviewed each application and their requirements were fairly stringent.”
Duckworth, Hunter and Budd all credited the success of the grant applications to the School Safety Committee created in partnership to help the two school corporations to work jointly on security, creating uniform plans throughout the county for emergency first responders. Incidentally, the two awards will benefit both systems, as each coordinates and plans with the other, using resources in such ways that security improvement to one corporation enhance the security of the other.
According to the press release, implementation of the projects begins in early 2014.
Contact: Rob Cox 812-663-3111 x7011