(Rising Sun, Ind.) – The hallways may feel a little safer as students at Rising Sun High School head back to class after Christmas break Monday.
Also going to school for the first time in more than a couple weeks is a new school resource officer. Retired Indiana Conservation Officer David Jackson will begin his new job patrolling the high school and it’s neighboring Ohio County Elementary-Middle School.
Last month’s shooting at a Connecticut elementary school isn’t the sole reason behind the new resource officer as city and school leaders have been working for two years to bring the position to Rising Sun-Ohio County Schools for the first time ever.
“It really was a joint effort between the police department, superintendent, city council, the mayor, clerk-treasurer and the school board. The timing of Dave Jackson’s retirement as an ICO worked to our advantage. As far as how and why, the timing seemed right. SRO's are already in several local schools and it’s the direction most schools are heading,” said Rising Sun Chief of Police David Hewitt.
Hewitt said his department’s calls to the schools have increased over the last few years. The resource officer, he said, adds another layer of security.
“We hope the position builds trust and positive relationships between law enforcement, the students, parents and school staff,” the chief said.
The City of Rising Sun and an $8,000 Safe Haven grant are funding the officer position.