East Aurora School District to hire six retired police officers to monitor buildings and conduct safety studies – Chicago Tribune
East Aurora School District 131 is hiring six retired police officers to serve as safety monitors who will also conduct building safety surveys to see how the district is holding up in the wake of the mass shooting at a school in Uvalde, Aus. Texas, late May.
Starting in August, the new Safety Instructors will rotate between elementary schools in East Aurora. The district already has two school resource officers for high school and one for middle schools.
They will not only actively monitor building safety, but also see if people are complying with safety training and conduct vulnerability studies to see what improvements are needed, said East School District Superintendent Jennifer Norrell. Aurora.
While the district has focused more on safety protocols since former Aurora Police Officer Kevin Jenkins started as safety and security officer in 2019, the coronavirus pandemic has halted progress, Norrell said.
In 2019, all staff received ALICE training – short for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate. The program is used in hundreds of schools across the United States and prepares teachers in the event of an active shooter in a school building.
The COVID-19 pandemic then hit and students weren’t in classrooms for more than a year, Norrell said, forcing the district to backtrack once students return and ensure that all staff were trained and to ensure that they actually perform security protocols. each day.
The six new security guards will focus on securing building entrances and exits at the start and end of each school day and will also perform routine patrols to ensure there are no breaches. safety, officials said.
“They can see we need to do something completely different, and we’re not ruling anything out,” Norrell said. “From reconfiguring our entrances to the physical structure of our building to changing staff or starting new training, we want to make sure we’ve done a study to see what’s needed.”
After the first quarter, the new security monitors will report to the board of directors and begin giving recommendations on necessary changes.
“We’ve held drills at all of our schools, but now we’re on the verge of seeing if the training is still going on and if the principles are being followed,” Norrell said. “This was just the next step in our safety and security plans, especially in light of everything that’s happened recently.”
The school board approved the new positions, each starting at a salary of $51,800, at its July 5 meeting. Interested candidates can apply on the municipality’s website.