Arkansas 911 News

Jessieville School District Police Department Announced – GARLAND COUNTY

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Students arriving to school are commenting on Officer Mark Kizer’s new eye-catching Jessieville blue polo shirt. The shirt represents Kizer’s transition from working for the Garland
County Sheriff’s Department to a becoming an official employee of Jessieville Public Schools.

On July 24, 2019, Senate bill 383 became Act 629, allowing school districts to create their own on-campus police departments. After meeting a list of requirements, and with the approval and support of the school board, superintendent Melissa Speers and Officer Mark Kizer went before the Commission to have the district’s request reviewed and were granted approval that same day. On August 7, Kizer was sworn in at the Garland County Courthouse as an officer the first-ever Jessieville School District Police Department.

Kizer’s employer may have changed, but since he is still a commissioned law enforcement officer, his authority to enforce the law remains the same. He still holds the authority to write tickets and make arrests, and will continue to attend routine trainings in areas such as racial profiling, CPR, rifle and handgun, active shooter, mental illness, children with mental disabilities, broken homes, and crisis prevention. In fact, Officer Kizer returned from a national convention last month, having just completed the third level of School Resource Officer training, also known as “SRO Advanced.”

Jessieville employees and students are anxious to see Officer Kizer cruise across their
campus in the truck the district has purchased for his official patrol vehicle, and are proud of the community service program he helps oversee. Students assigned community service by school administrators or Judge Naramore will have the opportunity two Saturdays a month to bond with Kizer as they make improvements to the school campus and surrounding areas such as parks and cemeteries.

Perhaps the greatest advantage to Jessieville School District having its own
school police department is that Officer Kizer will remain on campus all day every day to serve and protect students. Regarding his ongoing professional relationship with surrounding law enforcement agencies, Kizer stated, “We’ve all got to work hand in hand. The state, the city, the county, the federal government, the game and fish, we’re all in this together.”

There’s no doubt that Kizer loves working around kids. Judging by the students’ facial
expressions and eagerness to slap him a high five, it appears the feeling is mutual. “I can’t
imagine being anywhere else. I love what I’m doing,” Kizer remarked. “If you have a bad day, all you have to do is go into Pre-K or kindergarten. I now know what a rockstar feels like!”

Welcome to Jessieville, Officer Kizer. Thank you for your commitment to serving our school.