INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Attorney General Greg Zoeller and a Republican state
senator said Thursday they will seek $10 million to place more law
enforcement in Indiana’s schools.
Zoeller and Sen. Pete Miller of Avon said the money would be provided to
school corporations as a matching grant to hire additional “school resource
officers” like those already used in Indiana schools. Funding would be
limited to up to $50,000 per school district for up to two years, but
Zoeller says that could change as lawmakers consider the measure in their
The attorney general’s office commissioned a study of the state’s school
officer program and found that parents are most concerned with students
bringing weapons and drugs to school and bullying and fighting. School
administrators polled in the study, conducted from Nov. 5 to Dec. 12,
overwhelmingly said they would like additional officers, but also said they
did not have the money to pay for them.
Any new state spending will have to compete with demands from Republican
leaders to restore spending cuts in education and a coming drop in
transportation money, along with Pence’s proposal to cut the personal income
tax by 10 percent.
Zoeller and Miller said they began work on the measure before the Newtown
school shooting and that the officers would do more than simply protect
against shootings. The proposal would expand a statewide program that keeps
police in schools to help with mentoring, resolving disputes and other
Incoming School Superintendent Glenda Ritz said the measure would “ensure
that our schools, personnel, and students are safe and secure.” Zoeller said
he has talked with Gov.-elect Mike Pence but has yet to secure the new
governor’s support for the measure.