Clark County and local school districts may spend a total $170,000 to have sheriff’s deputies patrolling at local schools.
If the pilot program gets final approval from school board members, the deputies will be assigned to Tecumseh Local Schools and the Springfield-Clark County Career Technology Center, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.
According to Deborah Burchett, Clark County sheriff, there are already two deputies patrolling at schools in Clark County.
The new pilot program could add up to three deputies in the county patrolling schools.
“We feel that the schools and the children is our first priority in this county,” Sheriff Burchett said.
Tecumseh Local Schools and the Springfield-Clark County Career Technology Center expressed interest in having sheriff’s deputies at their schools, Burchett said.
“That’s what our whole project is, is to make the kids feel safe and the parents to feel safe and the staff in the school to feel safe,” she said.
The total cost for three deputies for those schools is about $170,000, according to the sheriff’s office. Each school district would contribute $50,000, and the county would pay the rest, Burchett said.
“Starting up, we’ll have to have equipment. We’ll have to have radios, vests, guns rifles,” Burchett said. “Everything for our startup deputies at the schools.”
According to officials with Tecumseh Local Schools, the school board has already approved spending up to $50,000, and board members will have to vote on final approval of a contract once it’s ready.
At the Career Technology Center, officials expect the school board to vote in May.
“The kids will be able to see that the deputy, the law enforcement officer, is not always the bad guy they’re portrayed to be,” Burchett said. “They can have trust and confidence in these deputies.”
The deputies assigned to the schools would have to go through additional training, Burchett said.
If it gets final approval, the pilot program will begin in August, she added.