Sullivan Schools creates new police department

Local News

SULLIVAN Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Southwest School Corporation announced last week plans to add more security to its four schools through a police department.

Superintendent Chris Stitzle said part of the idea came from Linton’s School Resource Officer Program. Stitzle said he had heard good things about the program and thought it might be a good addition to the SWSC.

Jim Dotson, who recently retired from the Indiana State Police after 25 years, will lead the new department.

Dotson is a Certified School Resource Officer and Advanced School Resource Officer through the National Association of School Resource Officers.

In addition to Dotzon, the school corporation will hire three more officers to round out the newly formed department.

“Hopefully over the next two to three years we will have a full police department. We are looking to have four officers in total that we can rotate throughout the district’s schools,” said Stitzle.

Stitzle said nothing pushed him to create this department, he just felt it was time to do something like this within his schools.

“I don’t know that when I first started that I ever would think we would’ve had a police department within our school,” said Stitzle.

Dotson explained his job the same as any other officer of the law, just within the school districts’ boundaries.

He said he will work to fill three other job positions within the department.

“We are going to sit down and create job descriptions and memorandums of understanding with other departments,” said Dotson. “We’ll also be looking at communications with Sullivan County Central Dispatch.”

Stitzle said the funding for this new department comes from a state match grant through the Secured Safety Grant which is funded by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.

Stitzle said they have roughly $182,000 to use on this new program.

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