ROCK FALLS – Rock Falls' new school resource officer comes with his own backup.
Rock Falls Police officer Jarret Ludwig will focus mainly on Rock Falls High and Rock Falls Middle schools, but he will be available to other District 13 schools as needed. He will be back patrolling the city during the summer.
Officer Matthew McKanna, on the force 4 years, will provide backup when Ludwig, a member of the Army National Guard, is called away.
Ludwig is the right person for the job, Chief Tammy Nelson said Wednesday.
"Jarrett has been with us 8 years, he's a family man and loves kids, he'll do a great job in the schools."
They will be the schools' first resource officers in 13 years – and other area schools may follow suit.
About a year ago, she and Rock Falls High School Superintendent Ron McCord "talked about adding a school resource officer in light of the Florida shooting and the increased number of threats at the high school," Nelson said.
"The Dixon shooting hit close to home," she said. "The Dixon shooting showed us that it could happen anywhere."
Rock Falls had a school resource officer until 2005, when funding from a state grant ran out.
Since then, only Sterling and Dixon school districts have had school resource officers, but more schools, including Sauk Valley Community College, are looking to beef up security in the wake of events.
Officials at Fulton's River Bend School District and at the Morrison School District also are talking about hiring full-time school resource officers.