Herrin School District adding a school resource officer

Herrin School District adds school resource officer
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 5:44 PM CDT
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HERRIN, Ill. (KFVS) -The Herrin School District is beefing up school security heading into the fall semester.

A resource officer is returning to the school district’s campuses.

The school’s superintendent said the resource officer will provide another set of trained eyes in case of an emergency.

Herrin School Superintendent Nathaniel Wilson said this plan was in the works for about a year.

Wilson said the district had officers in the building prior but the program fizzled out.

According to Wilson, Herrin Police Chief David Dorris, approached him last year to add a school resource officer to the district.

He said adding this school resource officer will allow students, faculty and parents to feel safer.

“When you bring in a school resource officer that has the specialty training for schools, to be an officer in schools. That helps to point out some of the things that may be weaknesses that we need to focus on. And also it’s just a good partnership and good community relationship. If there ever is an incident in our district, that we have to call for law enforcement, the Herrin police department are going to be the ones responding to us first,” said Wilson.

With school being in session for a week, Wilson said he has already gotten feedback.

“They’ve been happy to see the officer like you said, you saw the police car out front. It’s not always going to be you’re going to see the police car, sometimes they’re going to park in places that is not so visible. And that gives them a different angle on the school and they can see things from a different mindset too if they’re just entering the building in a different location,” said Wilson.

He goes on to tell me that this decision was not a reactive one.

“Fortunately this is not a reactionary thing, this is something we are being proactive about. We just knew this was a good partnership and it is about school safety and security. But it’s not just about school safety and security. It’s about community working together, it’s about partnerships between community agencies and it’s about giving our students and staff and our parents and our police a chance to interact on another level,” said Wilson.

Wilson tells me the district is applying for grants to also improve their security cameras and updating access control to school doors.

Wilson hopes to keep growing the School resource officer throughout the school district.

“This is just kind of step one. We have plans in the future to continue building our resource officer program. We want to continue working with energy if they have the personal available. We want to continue building with the Herrin program and the the police department. And then as we look at the Williamson county at large, we have a new sheriff coming in this year and that’s going to be a contact we would like to see what we can work out with the Williamson county sheriffs department,” said Wilson

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