PENDLETON — School and town officials are working toward hiring a new school resource officer beginning Jan. 1.
A memo of understanding was pending Thursday night between the South Madison Community Schools board and the town of Pendleton. The school board was expected to approve it. The agreement would split the cost of the officer’s pay and benefits between the schools and town.
In November, the South Madison Community School Corp. received $45,000 to fund school security equipment and school resource officers. The money comes from more than $9 million in grants through the Secured School Safety Grant Program. Funding would come from that grant and from the town’s general fund.
Pendleton Police Chief Marc Farrer said the school resource officer would be town police department personnel, but the officer would be assigned to the schools. The school resource officer would be different from the officer who currently serves at Pendleton Heights High School. Officers at PHHS are off duty working on an hourly rate, Farrer said.
Farrer said he expects the new officer to begin work Jan. 1. “That’s when the budgets and the monies are approved for the funding of the salary. So we have every intention of starting Jan. 1,” the chief said.
Other school safety grants awarded in November included:
u Anderson Community Schools, $50,000 for school security equipment.
u Anderson Preparatory Academy, $31,890 for school security equipment.
u Elwood Community School Corp., $50,000 for school security equipment and to employ a school resource officer.
u Daleville Community Schools, $35,000 for school security equipment and to employ a school resource officer.
u Yorktown Community School Corp., $27,500 to employ a school resource officer.
When the grants were awarded in November, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said, “The safety of the students, teachers and administrators in our schools is of the utmost importance to the people of Indiana, and I count it a privilege to distribute these resources to schools across our state. These grants will allow our public schools and school corporations to add resources that will help secure our schools so they can focus on educating our students.”
Contact Randy Rendfeld at email@example.com or 640-4861.