MAHOMET, Ill. (WCIA) — The Mahomet-Seymour School District just added a school resource officer to help students feel safer. But, he says he wants to go above and beyond his basic job description.
It’s a brand new start for SRO William Ward. After more than a decade patrolling streets, he knows he has an important role in these hallways.
“Interacting with the students and building those positive relationships with the students here in the school district.”
Beyond the badge, he wants every student to know he’s a man they can trust.
“I know some of you guys are nervous to say ‘Hi,’ back to the cop, but you’ll get over it. It’s just a uniform.”
He says he’s already starting to relate to them.
“Just knowing my way around the schools, where all the classrooms are, where the teachers are, so, I took you the long way and we could’ve gone the short way. You all needed some b-roll anyway.”
It’s a small adjustment. Teacher Nick Difillipo says he’ll be the perfect fit.
“He’ll be able to help students with more than just law enforcement issues, with anything they need. He’s that type of guy. I think he’ll be a very positive role model in our school district.”
One more way students can feel safer.
“It’s not just the school resource officer adding security. The school also has a tight control over who comes inside.”
“Hi there. Can I help you?”
“Hi, we’re here with Channel 3.”
“And you’re here to see?”
“The school resource officer.”
“Perfect, I’m sorry, can you step back so I can see out the monitors?”
If anything should happen, Ward will be ready.
“I know that I will meet that challenge if ever that challenge arises. But, I hope with our presence here at the school, police officers in the district, I hope that that even never happens.”
Mahomet isn’t the only school district adding new safety measures. St. Joseph-Ogden High School just changed to a key fob system for exterior doors.