ZCS and surrounding schools increase security, pass funding

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June 11 –  Zionsville Community Schools Board of Trustees meeting

  • Boone Co. Sheriff Mike Nielsen addressed the board with his recommendation for officers to be in schools at all times. (submitted photo)

    ZCS Superintendent Supt. Scott Robison, Boone Co. Sheriff Mike Nielsen, Zionsville Police Chief Robert Knox and Zionsville Mayor Tim Haak partnered in announcing all schools in ZCS will have at least one armed, uniformed police officer beginning in August of the 2018-2019 school year.

  • Robison introduced a multi-pronged approach to school safety, involving two main categories — a systemic change initiative focusing on behavior and mental health support, and a strategic implementation of devices, practices and staffing.
  • Nielsen stressed to the board the importance of having an officer in every school, saying that the recent Noblesville shooting hit too close to home. “As sheriff, I take the safety of our children more seriously than any other part of my duty,” Nielsen said.
  • Nielsen is working with Knox on the district’s ALICE (alert, lockdown, inform, counter evacuate) procedures — a safety strategy also employed by Noblesville schools. “We will do everything we can to keep all of the children safe,” Knox said. “That is my commitment to you. As long as I’m on the job, we are going to have officers in our schools.”

June 13 – The Whitestown Town Council meeting

  • The Whitestown Town Council pledged up to $75,000 for the Boone County Sherrif’s Office’s hiring and outfitting of two school resource officers and an additional $75,000 for the 2019-20 school year.

June 18 – Zionsville Town Council meeting

  • The council passed an additional appropriation of $277,000 for public safety, which will blend with ZCS funds to hire and equip officers to serve and protect the five Zionsville schools in the ZPD urban coverage area. In Zionsville schools, Boone County Sheriff’s Office deputies will be placed in the three rural district schools: Zionsville West Middle School, Stonegate Elementary and Boone Meadow Elementary.

June 25 – Boone County Council special meeting

  • The Boone County Council approved an additional appropriation of nearly $600,000, taken from the public safety local income tax, to lay groundwork for the safety program.

What’s next: Robison said the next step is to identify the SROs and help them become acclimated to the district. ZPD is hiring new officers and training new hires.

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