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School resource officers sworn in, need for more

Keeping our students safe in the classroom. That's what Vigo County school corporation is continuing to do.

Posted: Mar 9, 2018 6:24 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Keeping our students safe in the classroom. That's what Vigo County school corporation is continuing to do.

Resource officers were sworn in on Friday morning.

Elias Donker was sworn in as a special deputy.

He previously served in the military, so he says it's an honor.

"As a combat veteran there's really a huge amount of joy in being able to take the lessons learned, the discipline, the preparation," said Donker.

Donker's new position means he will now be a special deputy, with powers specific to a school resource officer for the Vigo County school corporation.

This means he will have the same power as law enforcement on school grounds exclusively.

After the Sandy Hook shooting took place, Vigo County decided it was time to do something.

"It's the relationships that we're building between the children K through 12 with our law enforcement and we've seen the benefits of that since we've started this," said Greg Ewing, Vigo County sheriff.

Donker says his previous experience will help him move forward as a resource officer.

"It really makes it feel like those experiences that were so hard fought and hard won, that we paid such a price for, are really worth it because if you can come home and prevent any of that," said Donker.

Donker will join several other resource officers who all help keep students safe.

Along with another former military officer, who says he wants to encourage other veterans to apply.

"There's a lot of vets out there that can do a job like this that understand and stuff and can read people a lot differently than someone else," said Jay Gelinas, former military officer.

Both Donker and Gelinas will start their new job on Monday.

Officers go through a 40 hour training class before being sworn in.

They also have to be proficient in firearm safety and defense tactics.

If you would be interested in a resource officer job in Vigo County, contact Greg Ewing at Sheriff@VigoSheriff.IN.Gov

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