CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) – The Champaign School District is adding new members to its team, and they’re set to keep students safe.
We told you the Champaign Police Department was pulling its school resource officer program this year because they are short-staffed. But now, the district is making changes of its own.
They’ve hired security officers from a private security firm. It’s the first step in a larger strategic plan to make sure students and staff are safe. Each middle and high school will have an officer this year.
The district said it’s been looking at their options all summer. Last night, the school board approved the hiring of AGB investigative services out of Chicago.
Orlando Thomas is the Executive Director of school supports and choice. He said these new officers will be different from Champaign Police. They won’t carry any guns or arrest students. Thomas said the officers will provide more than just security.
“Our focus as a district, I think is, we are really working to build positive relationships with our students, and anyone that comes into our space, we want to make sure they have adequate training,” he said. “We are equipping those staff members to build positive relationships with our students.”
Thomas said Champaign Police will still provide patrols before and after school. They will also help at extra-curricular activities and sporting events.
He said the officers from AGB have already hit the ground running. He said they’ll be ready to start on the first day of school.