Pierceton town marshal Tim Sammons addressed the Warsaw School Board Monday in regards to the Pierceton police cadet program.

“The idea started back in June of 2019,” Sammons said. He originally focused on students in the Pierceton community. He didn’t want to leave out students from other communities, so he eventually expanded the program.

He met with school principals and the proposal got great support from school administrators in the county, Sammons said. The program has 12 new students, who represent Whitko, Warsaw Community Schools, Tippecanoe Valley, Wawasee and a student from the North Manchester home school community. The cadets have a female and male mentor, Ashley Jones and Ryan Piper.

The students in the program meet for 1-1/2 hours once a month and learn about different topics in law enforcement and first responder fields, Sammons said. The June topic was crime scene investigation.

The cadets are students with a general interest in law enforcement, he said. The cadets fill out an application to be part of the program, go through an oral interview and a background check. Sammons said not every student is accepted into the program, but they can reapply for 2021. The cadet has to keep a 2.5 grade point average and must stay in good standing throughout the school year. There can be no disciplinary problems or unexcused absences. The cadet can be removed by the town marshal for violations of program rules. There is no cost for the program with the exception of the cadet shirt.

Sammons said law enforcement is still a noble position and the cadet program can help foster students in the program.

Leona Summers and Brad Cox were presented as the cadets from WCS.

Cox said he plans to work in law enforcement for a few years and then going into the FBI. Summers plans to pursue crime scene investigation.

Budget hearing

The school board also held hearings for the 2021 budget and the $3 million general obligation bonds.

There were no public comments for either hearing.

The proposed budget totals $83,016,140.

The education fund is $45,700,000. The operations fund is $21,584,703. The debt service fund is $11,152,437 with a $0.6732 proposed tax rate per $100 of assessed valuation. The referendum fund is $2,879,000 with a $0.4698 proposed tax rate. The rainy day fund is $1.7 million with a $0.1217 proposed tax rate.

For the general obligation bonds, the school board approved the adoption of an additional appropriations resolution, the adoption of amended post issuance compliance procedures and the final bond resolution.

Chief financial officer April Fitterling explained the resolutions. Before the school corporation can finance $1 million to build or maintain a building, the school corporation has to hold a public hearing to explain the projects. Before the general obligations can be spent, they must be appropriated.

The projects Fitterling said the general obligations could be used for, but is not limited to, include the water return at Warsaw Community High School, restrooms at the high school, tracks at Lakeview and Edgewood middle schools.

Warsaw school board members are Heather Reichenbach,  president, Randy Polston, Jeremy Mullins, Jay Baumgartner, Mike Coon, Brad Johnson and Elle Turley. Dr. David Hoffert is superintendent. The next Warsaw school board meeting is a work session Oct. 13 at 4 p.m. at the administration building.