Claypool Town Marshal Wants SRO In Elementary School

(photo supplied / WCS)

At its Tuesday meeting, the Claypool Town Council heard from Town Marshal Ben Sanders about the possibility of a Claypool Police Department resource officer being stationed at Claypool Elementary.

They also listened to a request for training funding from Penelope Wagley for the 3B senior exercise program.

Sanders requested approval from the board to look into a microgrant that would assist with funding to place a Claypool resource officer inside of Claypool Elementary full time during the school year.

“I’ve talked with Dr. David Hoffert and Dr. David Robertson from Warsaw Community Schools, and they are on board with the idea,” said Sanders. “The grant would cover 75% percent of the deputy’s salary, and (Hoffert and Robertson) believe the school corporation would cover the rest.”

Sanders maintained that this position is important, given that Claypool Elementary is seeking increased enrollment and could see a proposed daycare center open there soon.

“This position would remove any wait time on a call that would occur if we did not have an officer stationed there,” he said.

The deputy would transition from their school station to patrol duty when school was not in session, still funded by the microgrant and school, Sanders added.

In addition to the support shown by school officials, Sanders stated that he had a letter of support from Kosciusko County Sheriff Kyle Dukes.

Although the council sounded somewhat skeptical, requesting more paperwork and specifications before they would provide additional input, they agreed that an officer stationed at the school full time would be a good idea.

Wagley, with 3B senior exercise program and a Claypool resident, came to the council requesting $510; $300 for the training of two program leaders, and the remaining $210 for exercise materials for up to 30 program participants.

The three “B”s in the program’s name stand for body, brain and belief, which Wagley claimed were three essential aspects of personal wellbeing for aging individuals.

“We would do exercises that could either be done in a chair or standing next to a chair for the body part of the name,” said Wagley. “There are jokes and riddles and puzzles and scripture memorization that help keep the brain sharp, and it’s a faith-based ministry to tie in the belief aspect.”

“We’ve been given permission by (Claypool United Methodist Church) to use their fellowship hall for the program,” Wagley continued. She also added that she believes the program would be a wonderful opportunity for community members and the church alike.

3B classes would run for one hour a day, three days a week. Wagley stated that pastors from Packerton and Pleasant Grove churches had expressed interest in bringing individuals from their areas to Claypool for the program.

The training will take place on May 1 and 2. Along with the training, attendees will receive lesson plans and a DVD with exercises.

Materials, which include stretching bands for the different aspects of the program will cost $7 per person and would be included in the funds requested from the town. Up to 30 people may participate, and all attendees must be at least 55 years old. The program would be free to attend.

The council also recapped Saturday’s special meeting to discuss the potential sale of the town water system to Indiana American Water for attendees.

IAW will cover the cost of appraisals, which is estimated to be $10,000-15,000. If the town decides to sell, they will seek reimbursement from the sale. If they do not, then IAW will absorb the cost.

“We will host a meeting to let the town know where we are at when we advance further,” said Council President Liz Heiman.

Additionally, the council recapped the approval of financing for the purchase of a utility vehicle and a police vehicle, which would come to “just over $67,000,” per  Heiman. Bedlining and graphic work will cost an additional $15,000.

In other news:

• Claypool Police Department reserves logged 143 hours in January and answered 169 calls for service. Sanders reported that a Justice Assistance Grant for bulletproof vests and radios had been approved, pending submission of documentation.

• The board voted to renew a contract for fire protection. Council member Gene Warner refused to sign until he sees the contract in writing, as the document presented consisted of little other than places to sign.