Jerry Keefer, a long-time law enforcement officer, has been named the new safe schools coordinator for the Arkansas Department of Education. Keefer will begin his new position on September 6.
“I am excited to welcome Mr. Keefer to the ADE team,” Key said. “His extensive background in law enforcement makes him a perfect fit for the job, as we continue to support school districts as they work to ensure the safety of all students.”
As the safe schools coordinator, Keefer will serve as a liaison between ADE’s Division of Elementary and Secondary Education and school districts’ administration and safety staff, the Criminal Justice Institute, Arkansas Center for School Safety, Arkansas State Fusion Center, and other agencies. He also will assist with implementing recommendations from the Arkansas School Safety Commission. In addition to these duties, Keefer will collaborate to share information regarding cyber security and physical and environmental security, as well as implement and manage the STOP School Violence Prevention and Mental Health grant.
Prior to joining ADE, Keefer has been a special agent in charge for the Arkansas Attorney General’s office since November 2020. During that time, he managed a budget of more than $1 million and supervised the Executive Protection Unit, Internet Crimes Against Children Investigations Unit, Digital Forensics Laboratory, Public Integrity Division, Metal Theft Prevention Program, and the Training Unit.
“Special Agent in Charge Keefer’s leadership has been instrumental to the success of my administration’s ability to protect children from online exploitation and those who seek to harm them,” Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said. “SAC Keefer is a well-respected and dedicated member of law enforcement whose expertise will benefit the Department of Education, but more importantly, the schoolchildren of Arkansas.”
Prior to working for the Attorney General’s office, Keefer served in multiple roles (patrol officer, detective, Special Response Team member, training officer, and support services sergeant) for the Jacksonville Police Department from February 2001 to April 2015. Prior to that, he was a detention deputy for the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department and served in the U.S. Army from June 1994 to August 1996.