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posted: 8/9/2018 5:38 AM

Lake County Tech Campus wants officer to patrol halls, help in classroom

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  • The Lake County Tech Campus in Grayslake could have its first uniformed police officer on its premises this fall.

    The Lake County Tech Campus in Grayslake could have its first uniformed police officer on its premises this fall.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer


The Lake County Tech Campus is pursuing a plan to have a uniformed police officer on its premises for the first time this fall.

School officials hope the officer will be able to contribute more than just security to the students.

"We'd like them to be helping in the classroom such as talking in criminal justice classes," Principal Derrick Burress said.

Besides criminal justice classes, Burress said the administrative team thinks the new officer would be able to help in other human services programs such as law enforcement and firefighting. He said the role the school resource officer takes in the classroom is likely to evolve throughout the year.

"If there's any opportunity for the SRO to help out in any way we'd encourage them to do that," Burress said.

For the last 40 years the tech campus in Grayslake has provided students with practical knowledge and skills in specialized fields. The campus is available to students from 22 high schools in Lake and McHenry counties, and it provides hands-on education in 20 programs including automotive collision repair, culinary arts, game programming and virtualization, and laser technology.

The plan calls for the police officer to be from the Lake County sheriff's office and for him or her to serve two years at the Tech Campus. The officer's salary would be paid by the school.

Lake County sheriff's office spokesman Sgt. Christopher Covelli said Sheriff Mark Curran supports the plan.

Covelli said members of the sheriff's administration have been in discussions with the tech campus for several months regarding the proposal. He said the sheriff's office also supplies school resource officers to the Special Education District of Lake County and Beach Park Middle School.

Burress said if the plan is approved by the Lake County Board, it would be the first time the school has had a service resource officer. Burress said security needs have been provided by security guards.

In addition to helping in the classroom, the resource officer would be able to help with maintaining a secure environment and training the staff in school safety, Burress said.

The plan will be before the tech campus' board of control at 10 a.m. today and is expected to be presented to the county board at 9 a.m. Tuesday.