Creating a Force Overnight?

Imagine if by some bizarre occurrence all the line officers of the Knoxville Police Department resigned and the city was faced with rebuilding the force overnight. That's the position the Knox County school system is faced with as funding is proposed to add 58 officers to the school security force.

It is a logistical problem of major proportions to hire, train, and administer the installation of that many officers and will likely take some amount of time to complete. Many of the officers will come from the ranks of retirees from the Knoxville Police Department and the Knox County Sheriff's Department, but it will still require extensive training and organization to put the force together.

The schools have hired Gus Paidousis, deputy police chief for Knoxville, to head the department, which may ease the process. Paidousis has extensive contacts in the law-enforcement community, which should make the job easier.

The new hires will also need to be integrated into the existing security force.

Insiders wonder about some of the existing school security staff that consists of ex-Knoxville police officers. Some of them are ex-officers at the behest of Paidousis and other chiefs at the city who suggested in years past they pursue other opportunities.