WILLARD, Mo. — The Willard School District is now the third school district in Missouri to form its own police.
Derrick Hutsell, assistant superintendent at Willard Schools, said the district decided to form a police department to solve jurisdiction issues when it came to policing in the district thats in Greene County and Springfield.
“We’ve got three schools that are in Greene County and one in Springfield so, just to take out that challenge of who to call we had the jurisdiction issue,” said Hutsell. “We had some areas that didn’t quite get coverage. If we have a bus, incident on a bus or something and it’s out in Greene County or somewhere, we can go take care of that ourselves and without having to call the Greene County Sheriff’s department.”
The new department employs three Willard School resource officers.
“They basically work in the same avenue,” said Hutsell. “We haven’t changed our day-to-day operations, haven’t changed at all.”
According to Hutsell, the new department has the support of all three law enforcement agencies in the district: Willard Police Department, Springfield Police Department and the Greene County Sheriff’s Office.
“The Willard Police Department has always had an excellent relationship with the Willard School District,” said Chief Tom McClain, with the Willard Police Department. “I think the impact would be one that I would consider positive. One that they can know and have a sense of assurance that wherever they find themselves in the school district, the police officers there have the authority to do what needs to be done.”
The other two districts to have its own police are Blue Springs near Arkansas and Dunklin R-5 School District near St. Louis.