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CHILD CRIMES: Law changes what schools need to know

October 7, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — A new state law that went into effect July 1 is changing communication between police and school administrators.

Whenever a child is arrested or taken into custody for allegedly committing a crime, police are now required to inform the student’s school district.

Officials at the Whitley County Safety Commission discussed how that law will play a role with Whitley County’s law enforcement agencies and school systems.

Unfortunately for decision makers, there is no set process for how that communication is supposed to happen.

“They gave us the information about the law, but they didn’t give us the process to get things done,” Indiana State Police Sergeant Aaron Cook said. “This first year is probably going to be an eye-opener for a lot of people. Since they did not spell out a mechanism for us to convey this information, there’s a lot of room for it to fall through the cracks.”

Cook said if a student is arrested in the early morning or weekends, it could be difficult for the arresting officer to get information to the schools within the 48-hour timeframe.

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