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More police officers could be coming to Valparaiso Community Schools

Valparaiso Now Facebook page

Some Valparaiso officials want more police officers in schools, and they hope the school corporation will pay for them. City council member Jack Pupillo says Police Chief Andrew McIntyre and Valparaiso Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Jim McCall have begun discussions about adding two more school resource officers.

Pupillo told the rest of the city council last week that Valparaiso currently has three resource officers, compared to five in Portage Township Schools and six in the Duneland School Corporation. "That was very surprising to me, to say the least, and I'm glad we are increasing the number of school resource officers and prioritizing school safety — something I think everyone can support," Pupillo said.

Valparaiso High School had classes interrupted three times in January, due to threats of violence that later turned out to be false. Council President Casey Schmidt said that highlighted the importance of safety.

"I've got two kids in middle school now, and everybody was nerve-wracked when we get those phone calls. Whether we all think they're false or not, it still makes you think a lot about the safety and how good we have it here, but how good we want to maintain it that way, as well," Schmidt added.

Pupillo said the Valparaiso Police Department has been covering more than half the cost of the existing school resource officers, but they'd like to see the school increase its contribution. Schools can apply for matching grant funding from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.