News From Terre Haute, Indiana

February 5, 2013

Vigo County Sheriff, task force, propose full-time special deputies in 10 rural, county schools

Staff Report
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — In an effort to promote school safety, Vigo County Sheriff Greg Ewing and a Safe Schools Task Force want to put full-time special deputies in 10 Vigo County School Corp. rural, county schools.

The proposal would require $135,000 in county funding and a $135,000 match from the school district.

Ewing plans to submit a proposal to the Vigo County Council.

“I don’t want a Sandy Hook on my watch,” Ewing said during a news conference at the school district administration building. “We can’t wait for grants to come down the pike. We have to do something now.”

Rural schools are at higher risk because the law enforcement response time is longer.

The 10 special deputies would be non-merit employees of the sheriff’s department. Ewing anticipates using several retired law enforcement officers, who have previously received  training at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy.

According to County Council president Bill Thomas, the proposal would likely be studied in committee and then acted upon in March.

The school district will present the funding proposal to its board on Monday, said Superintendent Dan Tanoos. “When you talk about priorities, there’s nothing more important than the safety and security of our citizens, and especially our children,” Tanoos said.

Four members of the county council attended the news conference: Thomas, Mike Morris, Rick Burger and Tim Curley.