MPD officer joins Madison schools as resource officer
Saturday, December 28, 2013 4:00 AM
Lt. Dan Slygh has done a lot of patrolling during his nearly 14-year career with the Madison Police Department, but he'll be patrolling a new area of Madison in January.
MCS RESOURCE OFFICER: Madison Police Department Lt. Dan Slygh is expected to report for duty as the new Madison Consolidated Schools resource officer when classes resume in January. Slygh also will continue doing D.A.R.E. officer work with MCS as well. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchiefirstname.lastname@example.org)
Slygh has been named one of two school resource officers approved to work in the Madison Consolidated Schools.
Both MCS and Southwestern Schools received $50,000 matching grants from the state in November to help pay for school resource officers, but interlocal agreements between the school systems and local law enforcement agencies are still in the works.
Slygh will be the only resource officer in Madison schools until an agreement is reached with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department.
Dan Kellams is the school resource officer at the Southwestern schools. Southwestern is working to complete a similar interlocal agreement with the Hanover Police Department.
"I'm really hoping the county can get up and running," Slygh said. "Help will definitely be needed. There will be enough work for two or three officers easily."
The original plan was to have two officers splitting work at different schools, but until another officer is assigned as a resource officer, Slygh says he plans on covering as much as he can at each of Madison's six school buildings.
"I definitely want to get on board with the administration at every school and let them know I'm available," he said. "I don't want to shortchange any student in the school system. I want to be available to all of them."
Slygh has been Madison's D.A.R.E. officer since 2012, when he was appointed to the position by Madison Police Chief Dan Thurston.
His experience with D.A.R.E. and with his own children, he said, helps him relate to the students.
While he's still a police officer, Slygh said he doesn't want to have to go into his new assignment as "an enforcer."
"I want to be more of an educator," he said.
Slygh said every student has parents and teachers telling them what to do, but they don't always want to listen.
"Hopefully I'll have a different kind of influence on them and help them to understand they're responsible for decisions and outcomes. I really hope I can help," he said.
"I'm hoping that I can just kind of help point students in right direction and help them understand that the decision they make now can affect them rest of their lives," he said.
MCS will begin the second semester of the 2013-2014 school year Jan. 6. While he hasn't been told, Slygh said he assumes that will be his first day too.