Friday, February 12, 2016

An Elkhart County Sheriff's Department reserve officer lost his job as a grounds keeper at Concord Community Schools after carrying his gun onto school property. (Elkhart Truth file photo)
Elkhart County reserve officer loses job at Concord schools after carrying gun onto school property
Posted on Feb. 11, 2014 at 9:52 a.m.

ELKHART — Concord Community Schools' former groundskeeper Rick Ball lost his job recently after his boss discovered that he carried his gun onto school grounds in January.

Ball is also a sworn reserve officer with the Elkhart County Sheriff's Department — which means he has been trained like other Elkhart County Sheriff's Department officers and has the same authority, but his work for the department is on a volunteer basis.

WSBT reports that Ball responded to a domestic violence call on Sunday, Jan. 26, and put his .380 revolver in his coat pocket for that call. He normally keeps the gun in his personal car while on school property, but told WSBT that he didn't think to take it out of his pocket before going into work on Tuesday, Jan. 28.

His boss discovered that he carried the gun onto school property when Ball was involved in a crash in a school vehicle and reported it to Concord's superintendent, Wayne Stubbs, who told Ball that he would either be forced to resign or be fired for the offense.

Rick Ball said he did nothing wrong, and that his status as a reserve officer allows him to legally carry his gun onto school property, even when he is acting as a private citizen.

But Stubbs told WSBT that for the school corporation, it comes down to a process.

“Law enforcement people are allowed to have [weapons] on them on school grounds but it would have to be approved by our school board,” Stubbs told the television station. “This is not a situation where that was approved.”

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