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DeKalb School District 428 Board to vote on adding 3rd resource officer

DeKALB –­ The DeKalb School District 428 Board will vote on whether to hire a third school resource officer during its next meeting.

The meeting, set for 7 p.m. Tuesday at the district’s Education Center, 901 S. Fourth St., will include a second presentation by district Superintendent Jamie Craven.

Craven presented his proposal to add a third officer to the district to better serve the students of its 11 buildings June 4.

Craven said he’s met with DeKalb City Manager Bill Nicklas and former DeKalb Police Chief Gene Lowery to address school safety and security.

Adding a third resource officer would cost the district $124,360, according to agenda documents.

Board member Jeromy Olson on June 4 asked Craven to speak with interim DeKalb Police Chief John Petragallo on the matter to diversify the officers in the district.

The district currently has two resource officers; one for DeKalb High School, officer Aaron Lockhart; and one that floats between Huntley Middle School and Clinton Rosette Middle School, officer Chris Sullivan. Craven said the third would be able to assist at the elementary schools and be on hand as necessary.

DeKalb Police Cmdr. Bob Redel oversees the resource officers at the police department level, and said the officers perform their school resource duties during the academic year and then maintain standard officer duties during the summer.

Lockhart also is a detective in the DeKalb Police Department’s investigations department, while Sullivan is a patrol officer. Redel said a third resource officer would also have duties outside of the school like the other two.

Craven did not cite any particular instance that spurred the desire to add a third officer to the district, but has said he wants to be proactive for the safety of the schools.

The district’s resource officer program is operated by an intergovernmental agreement with the city of DeKalb, with the city paying a portion of the salary and benefits during the nonacademic year, the agenda shows.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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