SRO expansion comes at a good time, superintendent says

By Dan Spalding
News Now Warsaw

WARSAW — Warsaw Community Schools now has five school resource officers and Superintendent Dr. David Hoffert said that that’s allowing for the expansion of interactions with students in terms of serving as mentors and role models.

Those one-on-one interactions, officials said, have been increasing as a result of the additional officer.

“Being able to provide that through our local SROs is a big attribute. It goes right along with our school mission,” Hoffert said.

Hoffert made the comments during a taping of In the Know, the public affairs show you can hear on Kensington Digital Media radio stations this weekend.

The WCS school board recently heard a report on SROs and was told the officer’ presence is needed more than ever.

This year, the district, in cooperation with Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office, added officer Joel Popenfoose. He joined other SROs, Roy Navarro, Brandon Zartman, Lewis Fuller and Phil Reed.

The school dynamic has changed for some students after the pandemic, Hoffert said.

“Post pandemic, students are coming in with a lot more needs, especially as we talk about things like mental health,” Hoffert said.

He also suggested the school district is not done expanding its SRO program.

“Again, there is definitely a cost that goes with SROs, but it’s hard to put a price tag on safety and security,” he said.

Hoffert also discussed the recent solar eclipse and state-wide policy changes that will affect the school district.

In The Know can be heard at the following times:

News Now Warsaw (99.7 FM and 1480 AM):

Fridays at 9 a.m.

Saturdays at 7 a.m. 

Sundays at 7 a.m. & 2 p.m.

WRSW (107.3):

Sundays at 6 a.m.

Willie (103.5 FM):

Sundays at 6 a.m.