The Will County Sheriff’s Police Department School Resource Officer Program was established in October 2000. At that time two officers were assigned to Lincoln-Way High School District 210. They worked with school administration in order to provide law enforcement-based services as well as leadership, acting as positive role models, and school liaisons. Since then this program has successfully expanded to accommodate the following schools:
Lincoln-Way High School District 210
Summit Hill School District 161
Indian Trail Elementary
Frankfort Square Elementary
Dr. Julian Rogus Elementary
Plainfield School District 202
Lakewood Falls Elementary
Grand Prairie Elementary
Crystal Lawn Elementary
Peotone School District 207U
Green Garden Elementary
Wilton Center Elementary
Wilmington School District 209U
The School Resource Officer (“SRO”) Program is responsible for assisting school leadership with matters of safety, security and emergency planning. Law enforcement provides a presence of high visibility in the schools in response to incidents of school violence. By utilizing trained personnel, the officers’ presence provides a positive influence on students, staff and parents as a resource liaison. The role of the SRO becomes more educational than confrontational. As trust and confidence are established between law enforcement, staff and students, information regarding unacceptable behavior or a potential threat is addressed immediately.
Our SROs are a liaison for students, parents and the community. They control access to campus buildings and assist with school safety procedures concerning public access. Any complaints which involve the student population and the community are addressed by the SRO. Examples of this include speeding, residential parking, as well as student gatherings while enroute to and from campus, etcetera.
On a monthly basis SROs and educators meet to network on matters of mutual concern with the emphasis on school safety. SROs assist with school safety at extracurricular sporting events at the schools, as well as monitor traffic and student safety relative to arrival and departure. As in a patrol setting the school has become the officers’ “beat” and they have become a vital part of school setting.