VIGO CO., Ind. (WTHI) - Deputy Larry Hopper walks the hallways of local schools often.
He's become a positive part of area schools and an integral part of their day.
For parents and staff, it's a good presence to see a patrol car parked outside the school doors.
"I've got Otter Creek, Lost Creek, and Rio Grande," Deputy Hopper explained. "I'm typically at one of those schools at 7:30 in the morning for drop off, walk around check the security of the doors of the building."
Deputy Hopper spreads out his time between the three schools. It works for now, but Sheriff Greg Ewing's proposal puts the emphasis on more officers and more time.
"My request is to the county counsel to provide $135,000 dollars in funding to be matched by the school corporation," Sheriff Ewing shared at a Press Conference Tuesday. "That will allow me to put 10 special deputies, law enforcement trained special deputies, in our 10 rural schools."
This is all in response to the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut last December.
"There were 20 families that dropped their kids off at that school that dreadful day and kissed them like I do my children and said 'I love you and I'll see you tonight,'" Sheriff Ewing emotionally stated. "And that didn't happen. I knew when I watched that news back in December that we had to do something as a community."
The Sheriff found a large support staff for his proposal. The Safe School Task Force seems to be on board.
"You have to prioritize, and I think the council indicated that when you talk priorities, there's nothing more important than the safety and security of your citizens, especially our children," School superintendent Danny Tanoos said.
After a couple months at local schools, Deputy Hopper seems to be feeling the movement as well.
"Deputies in the school and a squad car outside is definitely what we need to protect our children."
The council will assign this to a committee at the February meeting. It'll go before the full council in March.
The school board will hear the proposal at their meeting on Monday night.
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