The concept of having police officers in schools has actually been around since the 1950s in communities all across America. In the late 1970s, the Valparaiso Police Department begin by partnering with the Valparaiso school system and assigning detectives to act as liaison officers within the high school.
In 1997, the Valparaiso Police Department assigned its first school resource officer (SRO) to the Valparaiso High School. Starting in 1999, Valparaiso has had two SROs assigned to the school system, one to assist at the high school and alternative school, and one to assist within the city’s two middle schools.
Current Officers Currently, the Valparaiso Police Department has assigned Lieutenant Ed Blakley, Officer Terry Cox, and Officer Shannon Morris to the position of school resource officers. Officer Terry Cox works closely with students and staff at Ben Franklin middle school and Officer Shannon Morris works closely with students and staff at Thomas Jefferson middle school. Both officers work with all of Valparaiso’s elementary schools as well.
Lieutenant Ed Blakley is assigned full-time at Valparaiso High School. A full-time presence inside the schools is a large reason students and faculty openly communicate with the police department. Open communication provides trust in law enforcement, security in the schools, and a friend to many of the students that have attended the schools.