MURPHYSBORO, Ill. (KFVS) - The Murphysboro School District has been enjoying their first few weeks back in school.
Along with the new standards of learning in person, the district also added a new player to its team.
For the first time in the district’s history, they now have a school resource officer that visits all the schools.
Taylor Riggs, member of the Murphysboro Police Department, is excited about the new opportunity.
“I want to make a difference in kids’ lives and I feel like in this position this is a very good way to do so,” he said.
Riggs said the community support for a school resource officer has been amazing.
“I have had lots of people come up to me and say, ’I’m so excited for this to start. If you see my child at school, please say hey,’ just nothing but positive reactions”
Principal Cody Ellermeyer was one of the members to push for the school resource officer a while back.
“A couple years ago our rural schools in Jackson County started developing school resource officer programs,” he said.
Ellermeyer said that’s when the discussion began throughout District 186 on whether they can have a school resource officer or not.
So, he took this idea to his dad, Murphysboro Police Chief Jamie Ellermeyer.
Chief Ellermeyer said it has been one of his goals getting an officer inside the schools.
“It was a pretty big achievement to work with Mayor Stephens of Murphysboro and Murphysboro City Council, along with the school board to get this position established,” he said. “It had never been here before.”
Police Chief Ellermeyer said if anything happens in the schools, it is nice to know someone is in the buildings.
“It will give us a leg up if there is a bad situation, um, you know to be able to take care of that incident,” he said.
All three of the members say they believe this can help build the relationship between officers and the community.
“It’s just a positive thing, I think, for police officers and the kids and their families to realize there’s more to policing than just us dealing with people that we arrest and that we’re trying to build a relationship with the kids.”
The Murphysboro Police Department, along with other Jackson County Resource Officers, are holding an event September 6 at Small Town Scoop from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
They hope this will bring the community together.