District 117 discusses possible security improvements

By Ryne Turke on March 20, 2015 at 1:01pm

District 117 is looking to create a safer environment for students, faculty and staff.

During last night’s monthly board meeting, a lengthy discussion was held on the possibility of hiring a District Safety Officer and a second School Resource Officer.

District 117 Superintendent Steve Ptacek explained the School Resource Officer would create safety and security procedures for every school in the district. The position would also coordinate plans with fire and police departments to create the most secure environment possible.

Ptacek plans to meet with the Chatham School District Resource Officer next week to find out more details on the position.

District 117 already has a School Resource Officer stationed at Jacksonville High School. Ptacek says the second officer would primarily enforce Turner Junior High, but also assist at other locations of need. The salary for the second School Resource Officer is estimated at $40,000 a year.

Ptacek explains why the push for these safety measures is necessary.

“All schools need to analyze their current safety procedures. They need to make sure everyone involved with the school district, and outside operations that work with the school in the event of a casualty, are on the same page,” says Ptacek.

We want to make sure our response systems to any type of drill are up-to-date. The district hasn’t done an intense review of our safety system for quite some time.”

Both positions are in the discussion phase and were tabled until the April board meeting.