The North Judson Police Department is currently looking into the option of adding a School Resource Officer to the force.
Town Marshal Kelly Fisher shared some information about the possibility when members met Monday night.
She explained, “That will put an officer in the school during the school year and how the town will benefit from it is any day that the school is off, during summer breaks, fall breaks, snow days, we’ll have that officer available to work with the department.”
Marshal Fisher explained that the officer would alternate between schools and said she’s spoken with Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin who indicated that she’s in favor moving forward with the idea.
Town Council President John Rowe asked for some clarification about the position.
He shared, “Let’s just say hypothetically one of our officers wanted to do it, then we’d have to go through the process of hiring a full-time officer on our end, correct?”
Fisher confirmed that would be the case and added that’s one of the reasons she is presenting the idea to council members now even though the SRO wouldn’t be hitting the hallways until the next school year.
PD officials want to make sure they have enough time to adequately research the position and fill any open spots if necessary.
She spoke a bit about the financial aspect of the proposal, noting that the police department would put about $13,000 toward the SRO’s pay. She added that school officials have said potential grant funding could help cover the remainder of the cost.
Town Attorney Justin Schramm said it would be beneficial to have an inter-local agreement in place to address all the various facets of the dual-purpose position.
Marshal Fisher said she will continue to do research and added that she’s coordinating with Knox Police Chief Harold Smith as well as KHS Principal Dr. Elizabeth Ratfliff and Knox SRO Travis Schieber since they all went through the process recently.