Maconaquah School Corp. Starts Own Police Force After Losing SRO
The corporation took grant money previously used to fund an SRO to create its own department, which consists of two officers and a CEO.
The corporation’s SRO was provided in partnership with the Miami County Sheriff’s Department for several years, but when the officer was needed back with the department full time, officials turned to a grant to help establish the department, reports The Kokomo Tribune.
“[We found] what would work out best for us is to establish our own police department with a school safety grant,” said Stephanie Tidd, assistant principal at Maconaquah High School and CEO of the new department. “It’s basically the same grant we have funded our SRO previously with, and now in the grant, we are including what we would need to get our police department established.”
The plan was approved by the school board in the spring, leading to the creation of the Maconaquah School Corporation Police Department. MSC Superintendent James Callane said the former police chief at nearby Peru Community Schools helped them through the process of developing its own force.
MSC hired Officer Wayne Ives as a full-time SRO and Officer Chet Sites as a part-time SRO. According to Tidd, Ives brings lots of experience to the team. He previously served as an SRO for the Western School Corporation (WSC) for 13 years and was also with the Howard County Sheriff’s Department for 32 years. Ives fell in love with his role as an SRO due to the relationships he got to build with students.
“I realize a lot of times they don’t have good communication with law enforcement … so this gives me a chance to show them another side of law enforcement, what law enforcement is and build those relationships so they’re not afraid of us,” Ives said.
MSC is located on the Grissom Air Reserve Base and serves six southern townships of Miami County. It has four school buildings that serve over 2,200 students from preschool through twelfth grade.
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