Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Officer Collins where for art thou?

While we have yet to hear from Chief Security Officer, Greg Collins (a/ka/ Chief SRO), as to whether he agrees with the Labor Representative for the Policemen’s Benevolent Labor Committee, that District 150 schools cannot be safe under the watch of School Resource Officers (SROs), District 150 Superintendent of Schools has gone on record to assure people that once August 22nd rolls around, the schools will be safe.

Dist. 150 School Resource Officers discussed
Peoria District 150 Superintendent Grenita Lathan once again addresses the recent policy revision renaming school security officers as School Resource Officers. Another major change prohibits those officers from carrying their service weapons when they are off duty.

"We are not eliminating School Resource Officers from the district or from our buildings," says Lathan. "They have been hired to serve and protect our students, our staff and our employees."

Lathan says while the officers are trained and able to make an arrest, Lathan says the district wants to make sure the incidents that necessitate an arrest are consistent district wide.

"We want to make sure when students are arrested they are not 14 and 15 years old being arrested for something that can be considered a felony and can haunt them for the rest of their lives," Lathan explains.

Lathan says, "They are students, they are children and sometimes they make mistakes."

Lathan says no work is being shifted to the Peoria Police Department. Lathan says School Resource Officers will still have the authority to make an arrest on school property. But, Lathan says, there will now be greater communication between the Sergeant on duty and the building principal. Source


Sharon Crews said...

I am quite confused. I have documents that state the following as part of the policy: “Under the new policy, School Resource Officers can detain subjects only without “the use of material mechanical devices” (handcuffs) and only after consulting a supervisor. “
Therefore, I made the following statement in my comments to the board last night:
“Without the use of handcuffs, security may have no choice but to draw their guns. What are you thinking ?”
At least three of us made the comment about handcuffs.
At least two of us thought we heard in Dr. Lathan refute our comments by saying that the police can use cuffs, batons, and mace.
Can anyone clarify any of this confusion?

Also, before I made the comment, I asked the security guard sitting behind me if my assertion about no cuffs was correct. He said, "yes."

Emerge Peoria said...

If they can't arrest using mechanical devices, I wonder if they can use the plastic zip tie...

Rixblix said...

I agree with Mahkno's previous statement re: schools NOT embracing a 'quasi-prison' environment. If weapons in school are an issue, install metal detectors.

If an on campus safety officer doesn't know how to restrain students without the use of handcuffs and the like, they should be retrained. I've seen teachers who work with violent students restrain students much larger than themselves without the use of MORE aggression many times. It can be done.

There are fights at school all the time...it's the nature of teenagers (especially boys) to find an outlet, any outlet, for their aggression.

I commend Dr. Lathan. If what you're doing isn't working, do something different. Districts across the area are changing the way they deal with at-risk students...and it's about time.

Tracker said...

Rixblix....that probably wasn't very often....I've seen where officers are there using the correct amount of force...just to get the fight/aggression stopped and get kicked or punched just because the student is so far out of control and there is a LARGE crowd gathered most times so they have to keep their machismo and not lose face to the crowd. After 20+yrs as a law enforcement officer, there is a terrible loss of respect of authority...teachers, principals, store managers, bosses, and even yes...police.
So how would you handle 10-15 people fighting...shoving...yelling and keeping YOU from stopping the fight because it's such good entertainment now??
Part of me says the SRO program might be OK...but I see that the Dist150 admin has not attempted to negotiate a contract that ran out last year...these officers are trained...not wannabes...they are certified, sworn police officers in the state of Illinois. Most of them are certified Juvenile Officers. Ever look up that certification??? It's to train the officer to protect the rights and serve the juvenile offender.

Sharon Crews said...

Dumb question on my part--I see that it's from North Carolina. So is it true that the 150 policy will not allow resource officers to use handcuffs, mace, etc.?

Tracker, you are so right. In this day of cell phones, gangs of kids can gather in any section of a school in short order. Before I left Manual, a fight between two girls was planned to be held in the girls' locker room. Girls invited boys who stormed the locker room. There were so many kids in the lockerroom that it was impossible to identify all that were there. Obviously, any boy that was there was in the wrong. P.E. teachers wrote down many names lf people they saw. However, the principal deemed it wise to just let everyone (including the two girl fighters) go home for Spring vacation.

So please don't anyone tell me that leniency isn't the order of the day in District 150.

Ironically, in this particular case, Dr. Royster's second in command, Patricia Williams, had taken a special interest in one of the female fighters--before this particular fight. She had intervened to take the girl out of my English class because Williams thought the student wouldn't get in trouble if placed in a different P.E. class. The student had been happy in my class (we had worked through some of the issues after 3 years of "being together")--it was always a tentative peace, but she knew that I cared about her--she just couldn't handle her anger, etc. Needless to say, this micromanaging from Wisconsin Avenue didn't work out too well.

Anonymous said...

Rixblix,you should go into a 150 school and show how it is done. Do you know Mckinley Moten? He is a really big guy, ask him what happened to him when he tried to break up a fight. Or the campus police officer who was out of work for four months to have a shoulder repaired trying to hold a 12 year old female student down so the para medics could take her to the hospital.

Anonymous said...

Do schools like manual even have metal detectors in them at this point?