Full-time school resource officers coming to all Gurnee districts

Agreements have been finalized to place full-time police officers at Gurnee Elementary District 56 and Warren Township High School District 121.

Gurnee village board trustees approved the three-year deals with Districts 121 and 56 during a meeting this week and an agreement is coming for Woodland Elementary District 50. It’ll be the first time all three school districts serving Gurnee will have full-time school resource officers.

“This is a good move,” Gurnee Mayor Kristina Kovarik said. “Very important.”

Under the agreements that start in June, the three districts serving Gurnee will pay 50 percent of a school resource officer’s salary and benefits over an academic year. Outside of the school season, Police Chief Kevin Woodside said, the cops will be assigned to other law-enforcement duties.

Gurnee police have had school resource officers splitting their time among the districts. Woodside said each school district requested full-time officers for the next academic year.

District 50’s Woodland Middle School and District 56’s Viking Middle School have shared resource cops. Now, each building will receive a full-time officer.

Gurnee police officers will be stationed at District 121’s O’Plaine Road campus for freshmen and sophomores and the Almond Road building for upperclassmen. Woodside said one cop has been dividing time between the Almond and O’Plaine high schools.

“Having an officer present in each of these school facilities will enable the department to provide better law-enforcement services to our schools and also enhance our presence as a community policing effort for our youth and as a deterrent to anyone contemplating violence inside one of these facilities,” Woodside said.

Two new officers will be hired to fill school resource jobs, Woodside said.

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