A Zionsville Police Dept. officer said through his attorney that he is still seeking an explanation as to why he was reassigned from his role at Zionsville Middle School to the road patrol unit in March.
ZPD reassigned Officer James Stiles from his role as a school resource officer, but details of what led to the move are not being shared publicly, despite requests for answers by Stiles’ supporters.
ZPD, Zionsville Community Schools and Town of Zionsville officials have declined to elaborate, calling it an “employee matter.”
Stiles’ attorney Mike Einterz said the reason for Stiles’ reassignment is still unknown to his client.
“There was no explanation given to him,” Einterz said. “He was simply assigned (his new position).”
Stiles did not respond to a request for comment.
ZPD hired Stiles in March 2019. In August 2020, he was assigned as a school resource officer at Zionsville Middle School. On March 19, he was “assigned to work in the road patrol unit,” Zionsville Deputy Mayor Julie Johns-Cole stated in an email, adding that she was unable to comment further on any “confidential internal employment matters.”
Supporters of Stiles have organized multiple rallies, including a March 22 event outside Zionsville Middle School, to protest his reassignment. His supporters claim he was reassigned after quelling a disturbance between two students.
Tim and Jennifer Beyer, both Zionsville residents, and other Stiles supporters have publicly criticized the school district, the Town of Zionsville and ZPD for not formally announcing why Stiles had been reassigned, including during public comments at a ZCS Board of Trustee meeting. They believe the entities should publicly offer an explanation as to why Stiles was reassigned.
After March 19, ZPD used multiple officers to serve as temporary resource officers. On April 26, ZPD Sgt. Elizabeth Frost was appointed as the school’s full-time resource officer.
ZPD declined to confirm whether an investigation of Stiles or his actions has occurred.