INDIANAPOLIS — With the start of the new school year approaching soon, many Indiana school districts are trying to pick up one more thing before classes begin: a school resource officer.

Consider a recent training session for SROs held in Columbus City Hall. It was packed, 39 officers from three different states were sent for five days of training on the finer points of patrolling schools.

Julie Quesenbery, a certified training instructor with the National Association of School Resource Officers noted there was a trio of training sessions that day in Indiana, in Carmel, Evansville and Columbus.

The demand for SROs in Indiana continues to climb. Part of that has to do with recent school shootings like the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas. In response to that, Governor Eric Holcomb said back in May, “The schools the most local governing body cannot let their guard down and we won’t let them down when it comes to funding to help them do their job.”

Indiana State Government already provides additional funding for safety measures through the Secured Schools Safety Grant program. Annually, $19,000,000 is available to school districts in a competitive grant application process.

“If that fund were doubled, it would be used,” said Avon Schools Police Chief Chase Lyday, “that money could be easily spent on school resource officers  tomorrow if there were more funds available.”

Avon Schools in Henricks County is looking to add its seventh school resource officer in its growing police force.