Seymour Police Lt. Jack Hauer will become Seymour Community School Corp.’s second school resource officer in January.
Trustees approved hiring Hauer, a former police chief, during their meeting Tuesday night as a measure to improve security and make all schools in the district safer.
With approval from the Seymour Board of Public Works and Safety later this month, Hauer will retire from the Seymour Police Department after 37 years of service and will become the city’s first reserve officer.
That decision allows him to accept the position with the schools, giving him the opportunity to continue working after leaving the police force.
Hauer replaces Billy Smith, who has been on medical leave and will retire in the spring.
Hauer will be paid by the school district at a rate of $30 per hour for fewer than 30 hours a week. Funding will come through a $50,000 safe schools grant that Seymour and other school corporations, including Brownstown and Crothersville, received from the state in November.
Some of that money along with capital project funds will be used to upgrade the security system at Seymour Middle School.
Instead of spending all of his time at one building as Smith did at Seymour Middle School, Hauer will travel to each of the eight schools in the district throughout the week to work with students, parents, teachers, administrators and staff to improve school safety.
Current school resource officer Keith Williams will remain primarily at Seymour High School and will handle most criminal cases.
Hauer will still have full investigative and arrest powers. His main focus at the schools, however, will be strengthening security at each of the buildings from outside threats and preventing and responding to internal situations.
He hopes to become a positive role model for students and provide them with an adult they can trust to help them if needed, he said.
“After 37 full-time years in law enforcement, I re-evaluated my career and decided I wanted to refocus on things that I see as a priority in our community,” he said.
Providing students with the safest and best learning environment possible stood out as the top reason to make the move, he added.
Hauer said another goal is to become a visible presence at the elementary schools so that students feel safer and more
comfortable around police officers.
“I really want to help bridge that gap between students and law enforcement and increase positive attitudes so that they don’t always relate us to negative situations,” he said.
Building those relationships early is important in preventing future situations, he added.
“We want them to be comfortable coming to us with issues now instead of waiting until it’s too late,” he said.
He also will work closely with school principals to perform school safety assessments and will serve as a liaison between the schools and law enforcement agencies.
Although it will be a change from being on street patrol or taking part in major investigations, Hauer said he is looking forward to being in the schools.
His first day on the job will be Jan. 6, which is the first day students return from winter break.
“I can’t wait to start,”
Name: Jack Hauer
New job: Starting Jan. 6, he will be the second school resource officer at Seymour Community Schools
Current job: Lieutenant with Seymour Police Department; he will soon retire after 37 years in law enforcement.
Pay: He’ll earn $30 an hour in the part-time position.