School resource officers to be present in CCSD21 schools
In partnership with the Villages of Buffalo Grove and Wheeling, school resource officers (SROs) will support Community Consolidated School District 21 (CCSD21) schools, beginning with the 2023-24 school year.
Two Wheeling police officers will serve as SROs for CCSD21 with one assigned to Holmes Middle School while supporting the elementary schools in the Holmes attendance zone. A second officer will be assigned to London Middle School and provide support to the elementary schools in that attendance zone.
The Buffalo Grove Police Department will assign an SRO for Cooper Middle School and elementary schools in that attendance zone.
School resource officers provide a visual presence at the buildings and encourage positive relationships while addressing safety concerns, acting as a liaison between schools, families, and law enforcement and working collaboratively with all stakeholders to encourage and support students in making positive choices and good behavior both in and outside of school.
"An SRO program rooted in prevention, collaboration, and respect for community norms and the law is an important resource for students and families as they navigate the challenges of negative influences leading to unhealthy behaviors at school, in the community, and in hard-to-manage social media outlets," said CCSD21 Superintendent Dr. Michael Connolly. "SROs are uniquely prepared to support our students and families towards good behavior and being positive community members."
The district will share the cost of the officers with each village. The Board of Education approved SRO agreements with each village during its March 16 board meeting and village boards approved them at their respective meetings on March 20.
"The Village of Wheeling is dedicated to working with District 21 to provide a safe school environment for faculty, staff and students. The charge of our school resource program is to guide and provide professional assistance in matters of mutual concern, with the mental and physical health of our children being our first priority," stated Wheeling Village Manager Jon Sfondilis.
"Buffalo Grove is happy to partner with School District 21 on the school resource officer program. The services and resources SROs provide to the school staff, students and their families is invaluable," said Buffalo Grove Village Manager Dane Bragg. "We look forward to expanding the program to further enhance public safety and build relationships within the community."
"I'm pleased that we are working in partnership with the villages of Buffalo Grove and Wheeling to facilitate a safer and more supportive learning environment for all students," CCSD21 Board President Phil Pritzker said.