DELPHI, Ind. (WLFI) – Delphi Community School Corporation received a $50,000 federal grant to hire a school resource officer.
However, hiring the officer has taken longer than the school and the city expected due to a clause in the proposed agreement.
“What we’re getting caught up on is this indemnification clause that basically holds the school harmless if there was a lawsuit,” said Delphi Mayor Randy Strasser.
The Delphi Community School Board voted in June to hire an officer already trained by the Delphi Police Department. The new hire also had to be approved the Delphi City Council, but the council amended the proposal from the school board.
Under the school board version, the city of Delphi would be held liable for any claims related to the resource officer.
“This person would be employed through the city,” said Strasser. “We would pay them through the grant, but they would be a city employee. Therefore, our attorney feels the liability should fall on the city.”
Delphi Community School Corporation Operations Manager Ross Striebeck said the amended proposal will remain tabled until the school board can decide whether they are comfortable sharing liability for the resource officer.
“If we are not going to be indemnified, then they may want to change another clause that we’re not open to too much liability — the school itself,” said Striebeck.
However, the city council amended it saying it wanted the school corporation to share responsibility for the officer’s liability on the job.
“The lawsuits aren’t happening. But if there were a lawsuit, both the school and the city are going to be sued anyway,” said Strasser. “It’s up to the insurance companies to determine who’s at fault here.”
If the officer is not hired by the start of the school year, Striebeck said the school has taken other measures to make sure the school is safe. He said the school corporation will eventually hire the resource officer.
“It’s just taking more time than I think it should, but we’ll make it happen,” said Striebeck. It will all come together.”