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LUCAS -- The Richland County Sheriff’s Office and the Lucas Schools Board of Education have entered into an agreement with the Richland County Board of Commissioners to provide a full-time School Resource Officer for the district.

The deputy will be assigned to Lucas Schools for the 2020-2021 school year.

Lucas Schools will pay 100 percent of the deputy’s wages for days school will be in session. The Richland County Commissioners have agreed to pay for the deputy’s wages when not assigned to the school.

According to a press release from Richland County Sheriff Steve Sheldon, superintendents from Crestview and Lucas schools interviewed Deputy Jon Vanhouten for the position. Lucas superintendent Brad Herman selected Vanhouten as a good fit for the job.

Vanhouten is a graduate of Fredericktown High School. He served six years in the Air National Guard. He also graduated from the North Central Technical College Police Academy in April of 1999.

Since his graduation, he was an officer at Lexington Police Department for over 19 years, was a member of Richland County’s SWAT team and recently joined the Richland County Sheriff’s Office in 2019.

Vanhouten has coached Mansfield Senior's soccer team the past four years and coached youth soccer six years prior in the Mansfield area.

“I have enjoyed coaching and interacting with youth and look forward to my role with Lucas Schools,” VanHouten said.

There are now SROs at Madison, Crestview and Lucas Schools. The Richland County Sheriff’s Office stated it would like to see SROs in all county schools in the near future.

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