Safe Schools Unit

Mission Statement:

The Safe Schools Unit assists school districts in their efforts to provide and maintain safe and supportive learning environments through training and technical assistance, and grants administration. In addition, the Safe Schools Unit serves as a liaison between ADE’s Division of Elementary and Secondary Education and school districts’ administration and safety staff, the Criminal Justice Institute, Arkansas School Safety Commission, Arkansas Center for School Safety, Arkansas Fusion Center, and other agencies.   

Our Team:

Jerry Keefer, Director
phone: (501) 683-5266

Prior to joining ADE, Keefer worked as a special agent in charge of the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office since 2020. During that time, he supervised various units including the Executive Protection Unit, Internet Crimes Against Children Investigations Unit, and Digital Forensics Laboratory. Prior to the AG’s Office, Keefer served in multiple roles (patrol officer, detective, Special Response Team member, etc.) for the Jacksonville Police Department. Keefer began his law enforcement career at Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office in 1998 and served in the U.S. Army prior to law enforcement. Keefer has completed multiple law enforcement education and training programs, received multiple awards and recognitions, and is a member of the National Associations of Chiefs of Police and Arkansas Association of Chiefs of Police. 


Jason Weatherly, Safe Schools Coordinator
phone: (501) 537-5732

Prior to joining the Safe Schools Unit, Jason worked for ADE DPSAFT as a Facilities Project Manager where he reviewed and inspected construction projects for over forty-five school districts. Prior to ADE, he was employed with the City of Cabot as a licensed electrical, plumbing, and HVAC building inspector. Jason has completed Civilian Response Active Shooter and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design training. He earned a BS summa cum laude in Leadership & Ministry, an MDiv in Bible & Theology and is currently working on a PhD in Theological Studies. Jason is a member of Alpha Chi, collegiate honor society. 




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